Ganga Water Flow Norms: Hydropower Company Takes Water Ministry to Court

Readers must have seen our earlier report about a 2018 notification that requires hydropower plants located on the Ganga’s tributaries to release more water than during previous years

Now the Alaknanda Hydropower Company (AHC) has taken the Union water ministry and the Uttarakhand government to court over notification about releasing water than during previous years.

According to The Hindu, the GVK Power and Infrastructure Limited company, which runs the 330 MW project, has called the notification “financially detrimental” and has sought compensation for the losses it could accrue as a result of it. Though the case was filed in July, it has not been reported on, the newspaper said.

The 2018 notification, issued by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), a body under the Union water ministry, requires hydropower companies functioning on the Ganga’s tributaries to release more water. The notification specifies the “minimum environmental flows” to be maintained by the projects in the upper stretches of the Ganga – from its originating glaciers until Haridwar, during the dry, lean and high flow seasons.

All existing, under-construction and future projects would have to comply with the minimum environmental flow, the notification issued on October 9, 2018 says. For existing projects that did not meet the norms of these environmental flows, the order provides a buffer period of three years (ending in October 2021) ensure that the desired environmental flow norms are complied with.

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