Judgement of the National Green Tribunal regarding the proposed Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project (SLHEP) threatening the ecology of lower Subansiri river, 16/10/2017
Judgement of the National Green Tribunal (Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata) in the matter of Aabhijeet Sharma Vs Union of India & Others dated 16/10/2017 regarding the proposed Subansiri Lower Hydro Electric Project (SLHEP) located at the Assam Arunachal border with a 116 m high dam to generate 2000 mw of power has given rise to an ominous situation that threatens the ecology of lower Subansiri river along with the likelihood of disruption of the lifestyle and lives of riparian people. The Applicant has stated that the location of the dam is in a highly seismic zone (Zone-V) and the project which is claimed to be “Run of the River” (ROR) scheme will hold up the water flow for 20 hours of the day when the project is “off grid” and would create flood like condition of the downstream for peak load generation of 4 hours by eight turbines.
NGT has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change to constitute an Expert Committee which involve the entire gamut of the issues pertaining to the seismological, dam design and downstream impact. The respondents in their reply filed before the Court has stated that additional safety measures have been proposed to be put in place on the basis of the recommendations of the expert committees appointed by the Planning Commission, State of Assam and State of Arunachal Pradesh in collaboration with the NHPC, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Electricity and the Brahmaputra Board. In view of the above the Application is disposed of.