The Environment Appraisal Commiittee for River Valley and Hydro-electricity Projects under the Union ministry of environment and forests (MEF), has recommended that construction work on 10 dams be immediately stopped for not complying with the specified norms laid down.
The 13-member committee chaired by I J Vasoya, chairman of Gujarat State Construction Corporation Limited, has found 90 per cent of India's river valley and hydel-projects to be violating the mandatory conditions.
The committee has reviewed 300 ongoing projects, and shortlisted Telugu Ganga in Andhra Pradesh, Upper Indrawati and Singur in Orissa, Mand, Jobat and Hasheo Bango in Madhya Pradesh, Koyna in Maharashtra, Sipu in Gujarat, Chamera in Himachal Pradesh and North Koel in Bihar. Says Ashish Kothari, of Kalpavriksha, and a member of the review committee, "We have been reviewing these projects for last 3 months and so far have shortlisted only 10, which are the worst offenders."
"These projects have grossly neglected the mandatory pre-conditions like rehabilitation and development of the dam command area" said Kothari.
But MEF officials are completely tight-lipped about the whole issue. K K Bakshi, additional secretary, MEF, said he was unaware of the whole 'issue' and specifically asked not to be dragged into "any kind of controversy".