Uma Bharati-headed Water Resources Ministry has told the supreme court that any addition to the existing number of hydroelectric projects on Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and Mandakini rivers would spell doom for Ganga river, reported The Times of India.
Opposing the major hydroelectric projects proposed on Alaknanda-Bhagirathi-Mandakini river basins, the BJP MP argued that clearance provided to all the said hydroelectric projects were before the unfortunate tragedy at Kedarnath in 2013.
“Hence, there is a need for a comprehensive hydrological studies as well as hydro-geological studies as to how the dams would change the flow of rivers. All these new projects are coming up close to the existing projects, many of which are in ecologically sensitive areas hindering the source of fresh water resource. Hence, any further project will have substantial impact on ecological footprint of the area,” she emphasised.
Reacting to 2013 Kedarnath tragedy, the Supreme Court had stayed green clearance to all 70 proposed hydroelectric projects in Alaknanda-Bhagirathi river basins.
On May 10, additional solicitor general SS Patwalia had informed a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit that ministries of power and environment favour constructing five of the six projects — Lata-Tapovan (171 MW), Jhelum Tamak (108 MW), Kotlibhel 1-A (195MW), Alaknanda (300 MW), Khironi Ganga (4 MW) and Bhyunder Ganga (24 MW).
The ministry stressed further that the region around these projects is located in geologically unstable and seismically active area and there is a need for a review of these projects.
The ministry said efforts to clean the Ganga and restore its pristine purity would succeed only if Alaknanda, Bhagirathi and Mandakini rivers were allowed to flow uninterrupted.