Environmental clearance for Ujh Project

Ujh Multipurpose Project inKathua -Samba districts has further slipped into hiccups and got no clearance from Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment in the sense not agreeing to the proposal sent by the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Corporation (JKPDC) by refusing to amend Environment Clearance for the said project. It is likely that due diligence, hard work and responding to specifics by the EAC have been found not convincing for which JKPDC must look into. The problem has aggravated further as the Central Water Commission has also not approved the hydrological data submitted by the Project proponent (JKPDC). This information is vital especially to address concerns in respect of preparation and distribution of flood warnings and forecasts.
Since lot of things are proposed to be dislocated in relation to environment concerns like diversion and submersion of hundreds of hectares of land, obtaining clearance from every angle is paramount for this mega national project to take of. Why should the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) find that there was nothing new in the fresh report and the contents being the same as were submitted in earlier one which indicates enough work has not been done by the JKPDC in order to get the Environmental Clearance? Data in respect of dependable flow series too having been put in messy form besides concerns in respect of Riverine Ecology having been raised by EAC in respect of the reduction of flow in a river stretch of 9 Kms, need to be addressed.
It would be in the fitness of things, looking to the sensitivity of the water of River Ujh a tributary of River Ravi flowing into Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty, that stepping up the utilisation of the water, for the strategic national project, under the provisions of the said Treaty took place at the earliest . We feel the experts from the Union Ministry should assist the JKPDC in sorting out the pending issues so that the project of national importance is not delayed any more as agriculture in the vast barren area needing early amelioration and achieving power prospects in tremendous proportions being the vision, must be kept in mind. The question is that why inadequate, half baked and wrong information or ‘clarification’ should be submitted by the Project proponent only to delay the project further?