J&K Power Department Cuts Walnut Trees in Harwan Garden for Grid Station

Reported by

Rabiya Bashir

Published on

May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

Updated on

May 24, 2021

Location of Conflict

Haripora, Harwan

New Theed town

Srinagar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Infrastructure

Hydroelectric Power Grid Station

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1

ha

Starting Year

2020

State

Jammu and Kashmir

Sector

Infrastructure

To pave the way for the construction of a 160 MVA, 220/33KV GIS power grid station at Haripora in Srinagars Harwan, the Jammu and Kashmir Power Development Department (PDD) in February 2020 chopped down 58 walnut, chestnut and peach trees in Harwan Garden. The trees were looked after by the horticulture department. The PDD is constructing the hydroelectrict power grid station to connect it with the AlstengGanderbal Grid Station. The grid was initially approved in Khimber area in Srinagar and later in Tailbal, but after the authorities faced land acquisition issues in both the areas, they decided to shift the power grid station to Haripora in Harwan. Chief Engineer (Transmission) Hashmat Qazi told LCW that the process of constructing the power grid station was started after the written permission of the district administration. Environmental activists and residents of Harwan have raised concerns over the construction of a power station in their vicinity and said that cutting down centuriesold trees in the heritage garden is a huge loss. Nadeem Qadri, an environmental lawyer, told LCW that axing the precious trees and starting a project of grid station during the COVID19 pandemic is an ecological disaster. He further informed that the power station will come up next to Dachigam National Park, which is home to myriad endangered wildlife species, including the state animal of Kashmir, Hangul, or the Kashmir Stag.  Harwan Garden is 400 metres from the main gate of the national park and 50 metres from Dachigam Nalla. The people believe that the proposed project is a threat to both human population and wildlife as it would require transmission lines to come up around densely populated areas. After the PDD started construction, the residents of New Theed area filed a public interest litigation in the Jammu and Kashmir high court opposing the move. The case is pending. There has reportedly been no Environmental Impact Assessment for the power grid station as mandated by the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Central/State Government Policy, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Jammu and Kashmir Preservation of Specified Trees Act, 1969
Rule 3: [Restriction on felling of trees without permit granted by the authority]; Rule 5: [Obligation of the authority to grant permit only under specified circumstances]
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Section 7: [Persons carrying on industry, operation, etc. not to allow emission or discharge of environmental pollutants in excess of the standards]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule I, Item 1(d): [General condition will apply, this will be a Category A project requiring mandatory clearance]
Jammu and Kashmir Land Revenue Act, 1996 (1939 AD)
Section 38: [The cutting of walnut trees or any part thereto is prohibited and punishable]
Jammu and Kashmir State Forest Policy, 2010
Part 4.10 [Wildlife Conservation: Destruction and disturbances in the habitat of wild animals are the foremost reasons for reduction in their population and human-animal conflict. Therefore, forest management outside protected areas will also focus on habitat conservation and management of wildlife; human activities in core habitat areas of important wildlife species will be restricted to minimise disturbance to wild animals]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Jammu and Kashmir

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Power Development Department, Srinagar District Administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Power Grid Corporation of India Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Chief Engineer (Transmission) Hashmat Qazi told LCW that the process of constructing the power grid station was started after the written permission of the district administration.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Chief Engineer (Transmission) Hashmat Qazi told LCW that the process of constructing the power grid station was started after the written permission of the district administration.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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