The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday reserved its judgment on the appointment of three-member committee to study the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project.

Significantly, Assam Public Works (APW) suggested the name of Dr Sarda Kant Sarma, an engineering geologist from Imperial College, London as a ‘fit’ member for the committee on the Lower Subansiri dam.

When Sanjay Upadhyay, Eisha Krishn and Upama Bhattacharjee forwarded the name of Sarma, the counsel for Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Control (MoEF&CC) Divya Prakash Pande stated that the applicant had filed only one resume when the committee was to be comprised at least three members, “which was indicative of the fact that the applicant wanted his own representative to be a member of the committee.”

Pande also further stated that the existing members had been selected after a careful selection carried out from amongst 8 contenders and only the most suitable names had been selected.
The counsel of APW, Upadhyay said that a committee that had been bestowed with such a momentous task could not be allowed to be so arbitrary and based on the surmise that views may be countered.

“The bench expressed its consent with Upadhyay’s arguments and stated that this committee could not function as precious time of the court had already been spent and it could not afford to spend more time and endanger the environment,” said Abhijeet Sharma.

Last month, National Green Tribunal (NGT) had asked the Union Environment and Forest Ministry to set up a new committee to study the “overall aspect” of the dam after APW challenged the formation of the committee.

Rajiv Roy is Northeast Now Correspondent in New Delhi. He can be reached at: