Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority

{Constituted under Section 3(1) of the Uttaranchal River Valley (Development & Management) Act ,2005}

Investigation for Construction of Tehri Dam started in 1961 and administrative clearance was given in 1972 by Government of India. However the then Prime Minister of India directed for indepth review in March 1980. Consequently PMO convenced a meeting Authority for integrated development of Bhagirathi basin. The draft proposal of Bhagirathi River Valley Management Authority was approved by Government of India vide its letter dated 27 December 1989. Eventually Government of Uttar Pradesh issued notification for setting up of Bhagirathi River Valley Authority on 23-3-1990 under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary of the State. As per the conditions of the Environment Clearance to Tehri Dam project given by Ministry of Environment and Forest on 19-7-1990, it was required of Ministry of power to ensure constitution of the Authority on Statutory basis through legislative action before 31-3-1991. In compliance of the directive of the Ministry of E&F, 'Uttar Pradesh River Valley (Development & Management) Act,1999 was passed by State Legislative of U.P.

Consequently upon creation of a separate state of Uttarakhand comprising of the hilly regions of Western Uttar Pradesh in 2000, an advisory committee was constituted by the State Government for preparation of proposal regarding River Basin Authority. On the recommendations of this committee the State Legislature enacted a law called 'Uttarakhand River Valley (Development & Management)Act,2005,(Uttaranchal Act /No. 06 of 2005)notified on 27-1-2005. Under Section 3(3) of this Act, Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority was constituted on 4-4-2005 and in the first meeting of the Authority dated 20-5-2005, Executive Committee of the Authority was constituted under Section 3(5) of the Act. The functions, powers and duties of the Authority and Executive Committee as given in the Act are given in annexure-I.

A Writ Petition No 295 N.D. Juyal & Others Vs Union of India & Others of 1992 , had been filed in the Hon'ble Supreme Court . In this case the Court has given certain directions in its Judgment dated 1-9-2003, details of which are given in annexure -2. In this judgment the Court has mainly stressed for compliance of the seven conditions of the Environment Clearance to 'Tehri Dam issued by Ministry of Environment and Forest vide its letter dated 19-7-1990.Details of this clearance as quoted in the judgment have been given in annexure-3.

The mandate of the auhority is, to maintain Ecological Balance, provide Environment Protection, insure Sustainable Development and establish mechanism for Redressal for Public Grievances by:

(a) ensuring treatment of damages to environment of the basin by soil conservation measures, afforestation by soil binding fodder and fruits species & maintenance of water quality,

(b) establishing Botanical Gardens with local Flora & Fauna

(c) ensuring Optimum Utilization of Natural Resources and setting up and implementation of mechanism for Disaster Management and,

(d) establishing Public Grievance cells in the Basin and Community Facility Centers near rehabilitation locations.

It will be the endeavor of Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority , to ensure compliance of the seven conditions of Environment Clearance and directions of Hon'ble Supreme Court and uphold the spirit of the Uttaranchal River Valley (Development Authority)Act,2005.

Source : Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority Government of Uttarakhand, Last Updated on 30-12-2023