|Doubts raised over CWC study on Subansiri project|
GUWAHATI, Oct 11 – The consultants IRG Systems South Asia Private Limited, a subsidiary of US based IRG Systems, have not used even the information available in public domain in carrying out the ‘Basin wise environmental Impact Assessment Study on Subansiri sub basin in Arunachal Pradesh’ on behalf of the Central Water Commission (CWC). The study is based on flawed and incomplete Lohit Basin Study and has no mention of the social impacts of the projects being executed in the sub-basin.
Above were the observations made by voluntary organization South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) in a letter to the chairperson and members of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on the July 5, 2013 Revised Interim Report, Volume 1 of the CWC on the matter.
Further, the voluntary organization said the consultants have not assessed the cumulative impacts of the hydroelectric projects proposed on the sub-basin.
For example, it said the cumulative impact of blasting for tunnels as also blasting for other project components, cumulative impact of mining of various materials required for the projects like sand, boulders, coarse and fine granules etc, cumulative impact of muck dumping into the rivers etc have either not been done at all or not done adequately by the consultants.
There are a very large number of wrong and misleading statements in the report. Citing examples of such misleading information provided by the report, the voluntary organization alleged that the claim of the consultants that during the monsoon period there will be significant discharge in Brahmaputra river and the peaking discharge of these hydroelectric projects which are quite less in comparison to Brahmaputra discharge will hardly have any impact on Brahmaputra was one such misleading information.
Moreover, the consultants have failed to assess the viability of the projects proposed in the sub-basin area.
Besides, the section on environmental flows in one of the weakest and most problematic sections of the report, said the voluntary organization.
It further maintains that the entire environment flows section of the report has to be reworked.