Tribune News Service
Dehradun, May 23
While agreeing in principle for the transfer of 351.55 hectare of forest land for the construction of Jamrani Dam, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has also attached several conditions to the approval.
Though the approval for the Jamrani project was given in 1975, it could not materialise due to the requirement of forest land.
“We have received in-principle approval for the transfer of land, a major irritant coming in the way of the construction of the dam,” said Anand Vardhan, Principal Secretary, Department of Irrigation.
Now in 2018 when the approval has finally come about, the Uttarakhand Government has been asked to fulfil six conditions, including a plan for the rehabilitation of Hedakhan temple, the adjoining ashram and also rehabilitation of six villages where around 129 families will be affected. All these places are likely to be submerged.
Further, the ministry has also asked the government to pay compensatory dues at a revised, which is 25 per cent more than what was agreed upon initially. The amount is expected to be used for carrying out afforestation activities and conservation activities.
Along with increased compensatory afforestation dues, the government will also have to ensure that the concerned departments plant more than 3 lakh trees and look after them for a period of 10 years.
That’s not only, the government will also have to provide the details of the afforestation activities carried by the line departments and also ensure there is no change in the status of forest land that would be transferred to the irrigation department.
The dam that would come up on the Gola river will also benefit the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh. Along with fulfilling the conditions laid down by the Union Ministry, the Uttarakhand government is also worried about the cost of the dam and is keen that the Central government provide some kind of assistance.
“We have approached the state government with the request of declaring the dam as a national project, this would be of great help to us,” said Anand Vardhan.
The 130-metre-high Jamrani Dam was sanctioned on Gola river of Kathgodam area in Nainital district with an estimated cost of Rs 927.93 lakh in 2005 but now in 2018 the costs are expected to escalate.
- A rehabilitation plan for Hedakhan temple and the adjoining ashram
- The rehabilitation of six villages where around 129 families will be affected
- Compensatory dues at a revised rates
- The departments concerned will plant more than 3 lakh trees and look after them for 10 years
- Provide the details of the afforestation activities carried by the line departments
- There is no change in the status of forest land that will be transferred to the irrigation department
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