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PSC holds maiden meeting to review mitigation plan of Pakal Dul HE project

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JAMMU: Six months after its constitution, the Project Screening Committee (PSC) met here on Tuesday to take stock of the implementation of the mitigation and environment plan of the Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project in the Kishtwar district, an official said.
The PSC was constituted in December last year to contribute and oversee the implementation of environment plans aimed at mitigating the impacts of such mega projects on local people and the environment and forest health of the area to ensure sustainable development.
The plan envisages various environment and wildlife habitat improvement works worth Rs 236 crore, including Rs 100 crore corpus fund for high altitude national park in the district, the official said.
He said the prime objective of the implementation of the project is to improve the catchment areas of Marusudra, a tributary of Chenab, on which a series of Hydroelectric projects are being constructed, including Pakal Dul, to harness the huge potential of hydroelectric power of the river.
Afforestation, soil and water conservation activities, along with developmental works, are being executed with the funding provided by the Chenab Valley Power Project (CVPP) against forest and wildlife areas affected by the construction of hydroelectric projects in these landscapes. The mitigation plan, biodiversity conservation plan and catchment area treatment plan are the different components of the comprehensive programme approved under the overall supervision and oversight of the Supreme Court, the official said.
The maiden meeting of the PSC, chaired by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force Roshan Jaggi, discussed in detail the cumulative financial allocation under different components, which will be spent in the next couple of years in accordance with the approved project activities.
Jaggi, who is also chairman of PSC, highlighted the importance of timely implementation of the environment management plan (EMP), which has a direct bearing on the mitigation of environmental impact caused by the construction of the Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Project.

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