The ministry of Environment and forest while giving clearances from environmental angle to Sardar Sarovar Project and Indira Sagar Project laid down certain conditions environmental safeguard measures. Implementation of these measures and being monitored by Narmada Control Authority.
Key directives contained in the Narmada Water dispute tribunal on environment
- Issue related with compensation of the forest land undergoing submergence of the SSP (NWDT clause XI sub-clause III (1) & (2) & XVI-8(2)iv.
- Fisheries development (NWDTA clause XI, sub-clause V (8), (9) & (10).
- Monitoring of the protection shifting/relocation of the monuments of archaeological significance being affected by the submergence of Sardar Sarovar, Narmada Sagar, (NWDT clause XI-sub-clause III (4) & XIV-7,8(3)(iv).
- Studies related to Downstream scenario for estimating impacts of project activities (NWDT clause IX (Vii) related to indenting of water for downstream by Gujarat.
Environmental concerns were part of the water resources project, planning from the very beginning. The guidelines issued by the then Ministry of Irrigation & Power included these in their documents meant for the water resources planners.
Recent environmental awakening in India is a part of worldwide concern for protection of environment. Govt. of India have taken series of measures for its amelioration.
- Sardar Sarovar and Indira Sagar Projects were appraised from environmental angle by the Ministry of Environment & Forests and were accorded clearances during 1987. It was determined that no environmental concern is serious enough to threaten the viability of the project if proper safeguards are adopted.
Conditions for environment clearance
The MOEF granted clearance subject to the following conditions:
- The NCA will ensure that environmental safeguard measures are planned and implemented pari-passu with progress of works on projects.
- The detailed surveys/ studies assured will be carried out as per the schedule proposed and details made available to the Department for assessment.
- The catchment area treatment plan and the rehabilitation plan are so drawn so as to be completed ahead of reservoir filling.
- The department should be kept informed of progress of various works periodically.
Investment clearance for ISP
On 6.9.87, the Planning Commission issued the investment clearance of ISP at a cost of Rs.1993.67 Crores. The State Govt. was required to comply with the conditions laid down by MOEF while according environment and forest clearances, and also establish adequate network for ground water monitoring in the command within 2 years.
Forest clearance for SSP
Vide letter dated 8.9.87, the MOEF approved the diversion of 13385.45 ha. of forestland for SSP, comprising 4165.91 ha. in Gujarat, 2731 ha. in M.P, and 6488.54 ha in Maharashtra with the following important stipulation:
The State Govts. will prepare by 30.11.87 ,a plan for the treatment of catchment areas failing which the Central Govt. will appoint a team for the purpose at the cost of the project for this purpose.
Investment clearance for SSP
On 5.10.88, the Planning Commission accorded investment clearance for SSP at a cost of Rs.6406.04 crores. The main stipulation, pertaining to environment, in the clearance was “faithful compliance with environmental and forests approval”.
Forest clearance for ISP
Vide letter dtd. 7.10.87 the MOEF approved diversion of 41111.97 ha of forestland for ISP with among others ,the following stipulations.
- The State Govts. will also intimate details of the non-forestland identified for rehabilitation of oustees and draw up a rehabilitation plan by 15.12.87 to the satisfaction of Govt. of India.
- A plan for the treatment of the catchments was to be prepared by 15.12.87 and implemented at the cost of the project.
The NCA constituted Environment Sub-group and assigned it its functions related to planning and implementation of environment safeguards with the objective of ensuring planning, implementation and monitoring of environmental issues in Narmada project.
Last updated on : 8th, September 2017