Construction in Eco-Sensitive Zone of Joshimath

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Action on the recommendation of the Mishra Committee are required to be taken up by the Government of Uttarakhand. As per National Policy on Disaster Management, the primary responsibility of disaster management including disbursal of relief and the rehabilitation of the people affected due to disaster also rests with the State Government. The Central Government provides necessary financial and logistics support as per established procedure.

Pursuant to the land subsidence incident reported recently in Joshimath, Chamoli District, all construction activities have been stayed by the State Government in the entire Joshimath area, including Tapovan- Vishnugad power project and Helong Marwari By-Pass Road. The situation is being continuously monitored at various levels in the State and Central Government. Further, the Central Government and State Government are working in close coordination with all the agencies concerned for mitigating the effect of land subsidence in Joshimath area.

The Central Government has also framed a detailed procedure for assessment of environmental and social impacts for developmental projects and is prescribed in the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006, as amended from time to time. The notification inter-alia provides for four stages of consideration process i.e., Screening, Scoping, Public Consultation and Appraisal by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC). Environmental clearances are issued only after detailed study and analysis of developmental projects listed in the Schedule to the notification and subject to compliance of necessary environmental safeguards. Project specific conditions related to safety measures like installation of Early Warning Telemetric system, implementation of Emergency Preparedness Plan, Disaster Management Plan, Dam Break Analysis, Catchment Area Treatment plan, stabilization of muck disposal sites, rim plantation, pasture development, nursery development, etc. are also prescribed in the Environmental Clearances to Hydroelectric projects.

As per the records, in the last decade, the Ministry has granted environmental clearances to Vishnugad Pipalkote Hydroelectric Project (444 MW installed capacity), Aerial Passenger Ropeway from Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib (Phase-l) and Sanitary Landfill at Joshimath tehsil in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand by following due procedures and incorporating requisite environmental safeguards.

This information was given by Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.



Source PIB