Himachal court stays work on hydro project

Shimla, March 25 (IANS) In a setback to state-run Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL), the state high court Monday stayed its execution of the 450 MW capacity Shongtong-Karchham hydropower project in Kinnaur district.

The order of a division bench of Acting Chief Justice R.B. Misra and Justice V.K. Sharma came while hearing a petition of the central government and the Indian Army’s Western Command, who contended that the HPPCL went ahead with the project despite objections raised by the army from 2007 to 2013.
It said the hydro project is located in vicinity of an ammunition depot where project authorities are using explosives to construct a road.
“The army authorities asked the state chief secretary in February 2011 to relocate part of the project outside notified area. But despite several objections of the army, the construction work is already going on and substantial work has already been carried out,” said the petition.
The court listed the matter for next hearing April 11.
The other hydropower projects the HPPCL undergoing in the state include the 100 MW Sainj in Kullu district, Sawra-Kuddu hydroelectric project (111 MW) in Shimla district and Stage I, II and III of Kashang project (195 MW) in Kinnaur.