The National Green Tribunal (the Tribunal) has recently granted permission in the case of Pradip Kumar Bhuyan Vs. Union of India and others to build India’s future largest dam on the River Dibang in Dibang Valley District of Arunachal Pradesh on 13.11.2018, which will be constructed by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), the biggest producer of hydro-electricity in India. Once the project is completed it will be India’s largest and world’s tallest concrete gravity dam standing 288 meters (945 Ft) tall.
As a result of the acquisition of land required for the 2,880 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project (DMP), 115 families of 5 villages are likely to be displaced and 744 families of 39 villages are likely to be affected.
In this case, the Tribunal observed that:
“Upon perusal of the minutes of the EAC meeting, and the various reports placed before us we find that adequate studies and steps had been undertaken to ensure sustainable implementation of the project….
…Multiple individual experts, expert bodies and institutions have expressed their opinion after undertaking detailed scientific and technical studies which we find difficult to brush aside in the absence of better materials which the Appellant have failed to place,”…
In the present case, the Tribunal heard the appeals filed by two Assam residents challenging the Environmental Clearance (EC) granted by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change around February 2015 in favour for construction of the DMP. The Appellants raised various issues like impact on biodiversity and the seismic sensitivity in the area due to the construction of the dam.
But the Tribunal held that the concerns by the Appellants have had already been examined and dealt with as required under Environmental Impact Assessment. It further upheld the EC and opined that the conditions listed in the impugned EC are to be scrupulously compiled with which would be monitored by a monitoring committee by making periodical field visits to the DMP.
The Indian Lawyer