NEW DELHI: An environment ministry panel has decided to hold back clearance to 600 MW Tawang hydroelectric project in strategic Tawang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh keeping in mind the biodiversity rich forest area home to several critical endangered species and has asked for conducting an expert study to gauge the impact of Rs 4824 crore project on the endemic species.
The forest advisory committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) considered the diversion of 187.20 hectare of forest land for construction of 600 MW Tawang hydroelectric project stage-I on Tawang Chu River by National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Limited (NHPC).
The project had first come before the committee in April 2012 and committee felt that a study need to be done to know the impact of all other projects planned in the Tawang valley before according them clearance.
The project again came up before forest committee on May 16 and after thorough deliberations noted that the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) had represented to the members of FAC that Tawang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh is very high in biodiversity having several critically endangered species as well as several endemics.
“The particular location of the project is also vital wintering ground of Black Necked Crane, listed in the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972,” said the committee.
It was of the view that these birds require quality wetland and the proposed project has an ability to significantly alter the wetland characteristics thereby significantly affecting the habitat of Black-necked Crane and in worst scenario losing one of the finest wintering habitat of this species.
“After detailed deliberation and discussion, it is recommended that a study in this regards shall be conducted through wildlife institute of Dehradun. It has been identified as an important bird area by BNHS,” observed the committee while deferring the clearance till the completion of the study.