SHRC seeks report on 440KV Jalandhar-Amargardh line

Petition before commission prays for protection, rehabilitation of affected

SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 26 2018 1:03AM | Updated Date: Sep 26 2018 2:40AM
SHRC seeks report on 440KV Jalandhar-Amargardh lineRepresentational Pic

J&K State Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued notice in a petition seeking protection and rehabilitation of people affected, to be affected, by the laying of 440 KV DC transmission line from Jalandhar to Amargardh via Samba.

Chairperson JKSHC Justice (retired) Bilal Nazki issued notice to the deputy commissioner Budgam, project manager NRSS 29 transmission project Sterlite Power and the chief engineer system & operations directing them to file report in this regard by 6 November 2018.

The petition which has been filed by RTI activist Dr Raja Muzaffer Bhat, pleads that the 440 KV DC (double circuit) Samba-Amargrah transmission line “is highly dangerous for humans living in the vicinity of the corridor”. 

“There are dozens of houses which are located near this line. But neither the government nor the private company executing the project is taking any steps for rehabilitation of these families,” the petition reads.

The petitioner prays that the commission may ask for a status report from the official respondents, executing agencies as also the forest department. “They may be asked as to why they are not exploring possibilities of creating clean energy infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir instead of laying high voltage transmission lines?” 

The petition while raising several important questions asks: “If global leaders and institutions are concerned about protecting environment and forests, why is our forest advisory committee (FAC) giving directions for axing of thousands of forest trees like Kail, Fir, Deodar every year? 

“Why are our fruit orchards, apple and walnut trees plus non-fruit bearing trees like willows, kiker and poplars axed every year for development?” 

The petitioner further prays that the respondents may be asked to compensate people adequately and those living near transmission line must be immediately shifted, rehabilitated and resettled as well.

The petitioner has prayed that the commission may direct the principal, Government Medical College Srinagar/director SKIMS to jointly “constitute a team of specialized doctors to visit the areas affected by the 440 KV transmission line especially the villages of Branwar, Batwodder, Kachwari and Watrad in Budgam district. 

“The team must examine the health conditions of the affected families living near the transmission line and submit a report regarding adverse effects of 440 KV line and suggest remedial measures,” reads the petition. 

Bhat said that according to official statement of chief conservator of forests Kashmir “more than 40,000 forest trees have been axed during last couple of years in J&K paving way for laying of 440 KV DC Samba- Amargrah transmission line. 

“In addition to it thousands of fruit and non-fruit bearing trees have been axed. The said transmission line is highly hazardous for human health and people affected by this line have been moving from pillar to post to get justice, but nobody is paying any attention to their genuine grievance.”

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