NEW DELHI, Jan 29 � The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has today directed the governments of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, NHPC and the ministries of Environment and Forest and Power to make their submissions within three weeks in response to a case filed by the Assam Public Works (APW) seeking a stay on construction of the Subansiri (Lower) dam. The case is now listed for hearing on March 3.
Overruling the plea of the petitioners to sanction four weeks to file their submissions, a Bench of the Tribunal, led by Chairman, Justice Swatantar Kumar and comprising Justice UD Salvi, Devendra Kumar Agarwal, Bikram Singh Sajwan and RC Trivedi, granted the respondents three weeks to submit their responses. Of the respondents, the Ministry of Power was not present, while others were represented by their legal counsels, said APW president Aabhijeet Sharma.
Raising serious ecological concerns, the APW has pleaded before the NGT to direct the NHPC Ltd., and other respondents to release the minimum sustenance flow of water of 450 cubic metre/sec from the Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Power Project (SLHEP), throughout the year.
Citing the threats to river dolphins, the petitioner urged the NGT to direct the respondents, NHPC Ltd., MoEF and Government of India to stay the construction work of the dam till disposal of the petition so that provision for an underpass/opening for automatic release of the sustenance water can be incorporated in time.