‘Do not give clearance for Gundia power project’

Staff Correspondent

MGP writes to Union Minister for Environment and Forests

Yeddyurappa laid foundation stone for the project at Yettinahole in Western Ghats recently

Government criticised for launching work on the project in anticipation of environmental clearance

MYSORE: Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has appealed to Union Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to deny environmental clearance to 400-MW greenfield Gundia Hydel Power Project.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa laid the foundation stone for the first phase of the project at Yettinahole in the Western Ghats in Hassan district recently.

In a letter to the Minister, president of the MGP Major General S.G. Vombatkere (Retd.) has urged him against giving clearance for the project in view of what he described as potential environmental and ecological destruction, which would lead to serious irreversible national and global loss.

Criticising State Government for launching work on the project in anticipation of environmental clearance, he said that the Government had taken the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for granted.

Though the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the ministry had noted that there were many endangered species of flora and fauna in the region where the project had been planned, it had not elicited opinion of local people who were opposing the project for several reasons, Maj. Gen. Vombatkere said.

He appealed to Mr. Jairam to intervene in the matter as the EAC was about to make its recommendations soon.

Maj. Gen. Vombatkere charged that the project proponents had shown least concern for obtaining environmental clearance which was a must before making financial and business commitments.

Drawing the Minister’s attention to Article 48A of the Constitution, Maj. Gen. Vombatkere said that he believed that the Article mandated that the Sate should protect the environment which was facing threat from the Gundia project.

If the project was implemented, of 754 hectares of forest land would be submerged, he said. Destruction of forests would cause several rivers to become seasonal and permanently affect the lives of several people who depend on them.