Vijay Bahuguna demands Uttarakhand’s representation on environment panel

Making the demand at a meeting with Union Minister of Forest and Environment M Verappa Moily in New Delhi, Bahuguna said that Uttarakhand's proper representation on the committee to study the effects of hydro electric projects was a must, considering the large number of hydel projects underway in the state. The Chief Minister also asked the Union Minister to take into account reports of IIT, Roorkee, Wadia Institute and the Garhwal University before taking a final decision in this regard. Bahuguna also said that considering the importance of hydel projects for fulfilling the country's power needs, small hydel projects which did not have the potential to harm the environment should be given clearance on priority. The Centre also agreed to reconsider its notification issued last year declaring a vast area between Gomukh to Uttarkashi as an eco-sensitive zone. The state government has been opposing the notification and seeking its review on the plea that it will adversely affect development activities in a vast area of the hill district of Uttarkashi. Moily also agreed to set up a regional office of the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment in Dehradun as requested by the chief minister who said it will give a boost to development activities in the calamity-hit areas of Uttarakhand. Moily asked the officials concerned to issue a notification regarding establishment of a regional office of the ministry in Dehradun at the earliest.

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