Small hydel projects not as eco-friendly as touted: Experts

Small hydro power projects which have mushroomed in Uttarakhand and elsewhere across India are not environmentally friendly as they are often made out to be and need regulations, experts said. Uttarakhand might be losing large tracts of its pristine environment due to presence of a large number of small hydro power projects in the state, a technology touted as eco- friendly, said researchers attending a conference held by Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based organisation engaged in research in the field, here today. Small hydro power which is widely regarded as an environment friendly source of energy can have severe impact on the ecology and calls for strict regulation to minimise its adverse impact on the ecology, they warned. The conference discussed the environmental impact of small hydro power (SHP) specifically in Uttarakhand region, and how to combat it without hindering the growth of the sector, CSE’s Deputy Director General and renewable energy team head Chandra Bhushan said. “The idea is to establish systems that will allow development of SHP without compromising the environmental integrity of the area. This conference was organised to discuss and debate those systems,” he said.

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