SC seeks Uttarakhand stand on NTPC plea

SC seeks Uttarakhand stand on NTPC plea

The Supreme Court on Monday sought the Uttarakhand government’s stand on a plea made by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which asked it to reconsider the blanket stay it imposed on construction activity in the state.

The apex court had on May 7 stayed all construction activity in 24 hydroelectric power projects in Uttarakhand, concerned that the projects may have had a role to play in last year’s deadly floods that killed thousands of people and severely damaged properties.

In its plea, the NTPC contended that it had in 2007 got clearances from the Central Electricity Authority and Ministry of Environment and Forests for its 171 MW-capacity Lata Tapovan project, which was delayed due to the blanket stay.

Subsequently, a bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh agreed to hear the application. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the NTPC, urged the court to modify its May 7 order, saying that the company’s project was independent, separate and different from other hydroelectric ones. 

He said the NTPC had already begun work on the project, while others were still at a proposal stage. The company also claimed that the Rs 1527.08-crore Lata Tapovan project was not located in an eco-sensitive region.

Taking Kumar’s submission into account, the court asked the Uttarakhand government to file its response by July 22, the next date of hearing.

The Supreme Court had stayed projects that were found to be impacting biodiversity in two sub-basins of the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers. 

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