The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in response to a case filed on January 2 has issued notice to the Alaknanda Hydropower Company Limited (AHPCL).

Earlier, a case was filed with the NGT by the Srinagar Bandh Aapda Sangharsh Samiti, an organisation for the affected residents of Srinagar, Pauri district, and Matu Jansangthan, an organisation that works on dam related issues. They demanded compensation for the damage of assets that AHPCL’s 330 MW Srinagar Hydroelectric Project allegedly caused during the mid-June deluge last year and that reportedly filled much of Srinagar with muck, silt, and debris.

Vimal Bhai, convenor of the Matu Jansangthan, said: “We want AHPCL [a subsidiary of the infrastructure developer GVK] to compensate the residents of Srinagar for the damage caused by the hydropower project during the deluge, and restore the area.”

The members of the two organisations and the residents of Srinagar blamed the dam authorities for much of the disaster in the area. They said the dam authorities deposited the muck from the dam construction site into the Alaknanda river bed.

Prem Ballabh Kala, vice-president of the Srinagar Bandh Aapda Sangharsh Samiti, said: “On June 16 and 17, the flow of the Alaknanda river increased but the dam authorities did not open the flood gates until a massive artificial lake was created due to the accumulated water.

Then the sudden release of water from the dam flooded the downstream areas and filled much of Srinagar with the muck and debris that were flushed out from dumping sites of the project.”