Submission of comments to the DOE/AE
Compilation of submitted inputs:
Comment (79 KB)
submitted by: HimDhara
on behalf of Rahul Saxena, Himdhara (Environment Research and Action Collective), Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
The following is the text of the email that had been sent to the Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board for postponement of the Public Consultation process. Please refer to the section on the Public Consultation in the uploaded file:
From: Environment Research & Action Collective
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 16:51:12 +0530
Subject: Fwd: URGENT: Appeal to postpone the Environment Clearance
Public Hearings on 240 MW Kuther and 180 MW Bajoli-Holi Projects in
The Member Secretary
The Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board
Him Parivesh, Shimla
9th April 2010
Subject: Appeal to immediately postpone the Environment Clearance Public Hearings on 240 MW
Kuther and 180 MW Bajoli-Holi Projects in Bharmour, Chamba
It is with concern that we would like to bring to your attention our apprehensions regarding the
Environment Clearance Public Hearings on the two projects 240 MW Kuther and 180 MW Bajoli-
Holi Projects which are scheduled to be held from the 16th to the 19th of April in sub tehsil Holi of
Bharmour, Chamba. We are most concerned about the timing of this public hearing when a
considerable part of the population is not present in the area.
As you may already be aware, these projects are proposed upstream of the projects, Chamera I,
II and III, on the Ravi River. As per the information available related to the project in the Executive
Summary prepared by the project proponent it appears that a total of 6 panchayats will be
affected by the Kuther project - namely, Ulhansa, Garola, Chanhauta, Laamu, Saan, Kuther.
Another 5 panchayats will be affected by the GMR project namely, Bajaul, Nayagram, Deol,
Kuleth and Holi. A population of almost 12,000 inhabits the left bank where these to projects are
The left bank is fairly forested with higher oak species (Timsu, kharsu, deodar, ban) and
agriculture is fairly productive with apple orchards being the main source of income. The area has
rich soil in comparison to the right bank and thereare several water sources - which are used for
drinking water and cattle. Because the area is high altitude with fragile mountain slopes, the
tunneling and construction activity is bound to cause severe soil erosion and land slides.
Needless to say that these projects will have a substantial impact as far as local livelihoods go. A
total of 94 hectares of land will be required for the GMR project of which 90% is forest land. The
JSW project will require 62 hectares out of which 57 hectares are forest land. The executive
summaries of the projects do not mention about forest uses and livelihood dependent on it. The
Forest Rights Act 2006 is also in the process of implementation in the region and community
claims are yet to be filed.
This is to draw your attention to the fact that the local population of these villages has a high
stake and dependence on the area and hence it is essential that the Public Hearings are
conducted in a just and participatory way.
However, this will not be possible if these hearings are held as scheduled because many families
(more than 30%) have their summer habitations in Kangra and other areas lower down and
hence migrate out from November to June. These include Gaddis practicing livestock rearing as
well as those working as farmers/labourers etc. Since Gaddis (STs) are a large part of the
population, the area falls in a Scheduled area and hence getting local opinion on the project is an
important legal and constitutional requirement.
We thus appeal to the department to immediately reschedule the Public Hearings for a date when
the entire population that who inhabit the region are present in the area.
Further the full EIA-EMP should be made available on HPPCB website a month before the PH,
which has not happened, which is a violation of the EIA notification 2006. Local people must also
get access to the full EIA-EMP in language and manner that they can understand. The
Public Hearing should be held only after this is done.
We believe that this is a valid demand in the light of the spirit of the EIA notification's provisions
on 'Public Consultations' as well as the constiutional provisions under the Panchayats Extension
to Scheduled Areas Act.
Looking forward to urgent action on the matter,
Mangani Ram BDC Member Nayagram Bajoli and Vice Chairman Panchayat Samiti, Bharmour
Shankar Sharma National Member and Zonal President, Akhil Bhartiya Gaddi Janjatiya Samiti,
Ratan Chand, Zilla Parishad Member Jadera Ward, Chamba
Kulbhushan Upmanyu and Uma Mahajan, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan
Rahul Saxena, Lok Vigyan Kendra, Palampur
Prakash Bhandari and Manshi Asher, Environment Research and Action Collective, Palampur
Himanshu Thakkar, South Asia Network for Dams Rivers and People, New Delhi
Further Information Please Contact: Mangani Ram BDC Member Nayagram
Bajoli, 9418337391, Prakash Bhandari 9816089920, Rahul Saxena
Submitted by: HimDhara
The comment period is over.