Ujh Multipurpose Project in J&K Gets Centre's Nod, To Displace 3,700 Families

Reported by

Rabiya Bashir

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

Updated on

May 24, 2021

Location of Conflict

Dharalta and Dungara villages

Samba district, Billawar town in Kathua district

Kathua

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Multipurpose Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4350

ha

Starting Year

2008

State

Jammu and Kashmir

Sector

Infrastructure

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has set the ball rolling to transfer hundreds of hectares of ecofragile forestland for the construction of the Ujh multipurpose project (hydropower, irrigation and drinking) in Jammus Kathua district. The geographyaltering project is being constructed on Ujh, a tributary of the Ravi river. The project has got Stage 1 clearance. We (forest department) will divert over 680 hectares of land while the rest is state and private land, K. Ramesh Kumar, chief conservator of forests, Jammu, told the media. Over two lakh trees have been marked by field officers in Billawar, Kathua and Samba forest divisions that will be axed to pave way for the ambitious project, the Government of Indias forest advisory committee noted in a 2020 report. The project received recommendation for environmental and forest clearances in December 2020 from expert panels of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. Professor R.K. Ganjoo, who teaches at the Department of Geology in the University of Jammu, explains that forests act as a sink for excess carbon in the atmosphere. Extensive deforestation disturbs the carbon cycle, which leads to climate change, he said. The project is likely to displace around 3,700 families in 52 villages, based on numbers from the 2011 Census. The two villages of Dharalta and Dungara will be completely submerged. The project site is located 10 kilometres from the Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary, home to some critically endangered species. Environmentalists and activists have voiced their concerns about the Ujh project. There will be ecological and microclimate changes due to the denuding of forests. In the coming years, people will face a lot of problems during summer. Besides the loss of forest cover, it will also gravely impact wildlife, Avtar Singh from the Department of Geology/Remote Sensing & GIS at the University of Jammu, told the media.

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

Demand to halt the project, prevent displacement

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

9167

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Section 8 [Grant or rejection of prior environmental clearance]
Electricity Act, 2003
Section 7 [Persons carrying on industry, operation, etc. not to allow emission or discharge of environmental pollutants in excess of the standards]; Section (3-B) [The combined effect of emission or discharge of environmental pollutants in an area from industries, operations, processes, automobiles and domestic sources shall not be permitted to exceed the relevant concentration in ambient air as specified against each pollutant in columns (3) to (5) of Schedule VII of the Act]
Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1978
Section 2(22A) [“Protected area” means a national park or a sanctuary or a conservation reserve declared as such under this Act]; Section 51-A [Penalty for endangering the protected area or polluting the environment]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)i [Right to protect, regenerate, conserve or manage any community forest resource, which forest dwellers have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3(g) [Wrongfully dispossessing a member of an SC or ST community or interfering with the enjoyment of his rights, including forest rights]
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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.

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

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Media-based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest department; Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; Samba district administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

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:

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