ISSUE: Construction of hydel plants in Kodagu
Problem and Implications
The construction of Barapolay Hydro Electric Plant across the Barapolay River at Palathinkadavu requires large reservoirs for operation and will lead to loss of land and habitat fragmentation. It will also disrupt the ecosystems surrounding the plant sites.
History: The government of Kerala in 1974 notified the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary for the construction of the Hydro Electric Power Plant despite laws stating that land and water bodies inside sanctuaries must not be disturbed.
Current Scenario: The Kerala State Electricity Board, the body that oversees the construction of the project had completed the tender procedures and were about to execute work when the Supreme Court of India issued an order to stop all work with immediate effect, until further instructions from the government.
Role of CWS
The CWS filed a Public Interest Litigation to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in June 2005, seeking a stay on the proposed project across the Barapolay river, which falls under the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The CEC, after investigations, made recommendations to the Supreme Court through a report with results of their findings. Based on the report, the Supreme Court issued a stay order on the construction work. A copy of the order was also forwarded to CWS.