New Delhi, Apr 18: Along with several question marks over the adequacy of relief and rehabilitation for Narmada Dam oustees, the compliance of environmental impact-related norms in execution of the project has also been found unsatisfactory.
The shortcomings in the implementation of the project came to light during the visit of a team of the Environment and Forest Ministry to some of the affected areas, following which it has recommended a third party assessment of the works, sources in the Ministry told UNI.
The team found that the two wildlife sanctuaries that were to be developed by the Madhya Pradesh Government in the vicinity of the areas submerged by the dam to provide shelter to the migrating animals have not come up.
In fact the state government has not even announced the decision though the areas where they were to be developed have been identified by the Wild Life Institute of India and State Forest Research Institute.
The studies carried out by the two institutes had stressed that submergence of the vast area as a result of the increase in the height of the dam would cause large scale displacement of the wildlife along with human population, so alternative habitat for the animals life too was necessary.
Besides, there are many flaws in the engineering works which were required as one of the condition for clearance of the project, the sources said.
The state along with Gujarat and Maharashtra--the other two riparian states--has not properly carried out work relating to removal of trees in more than one lakh hectare area of the Narmada river catchment spread across the three states, as per the norms laid down by the Environment and Forest Ministry.
The trees were not uprooted properly, as a result of which they have started coming up again under the lake formed by the diversion of the river, which would result in the contamination of water, say experts.
Madhya Pradesh was also found defaulting on its commitment regarding protection and conservation of aquatic life threatened because of the construction of the dam, sources said.