Joint committee report on the remedial measures taken by IRCON to contain the damage caused during the excavation of tunnel (T-77D), village Channar, Bankoot, district Rambar, Jammu & Kashmir, 17/04/2023

Joint Committee Report in OA No. 706 of 2022 (Asgar Ahmad Najar Versus Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change & Ors.).

The complainant had said that ABCI Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. under the aegis of the IRCON has installed a batching plant (cement concrete USBRL Project T-77 D tunnel) at village Channar, Bankoot, district Ramban, Jammu & Kashmir which is emitting highly toxic chemicals and discharging waste material directly over the lands of the applicant (Asgar Ahmad Najar), nearby pathways and streets. It was further alleged that due to emission of chemicals and discharge of waste material, the flora and fauna including agricultural land in the adjoining area was getting damaged.

The joint committee visited the site, March 31, 2023. The applicant was accompanied by other inhabitants of village Chanar, Bankoot and the representatives of the project proponent were also present during the site visit.

A sedimentation tank consisting of 3 chambers for the treatment of muddy water coming out of the tunnel T-77A was found constructed near the northern face of the tunnel but without any arrangement for settling/removal of the mud/slush. The unsettled tunnel muddy water was still being discharged into the drain on the down slope passing through one side of the village.

The committee found that a gabion wall was provided to retain the muck along the bottom of the dump in the railway acquired land. However, a small portion of the soil has started sliding down just below the gabion wall provided by the project proponent near the northern face of the tunnel. The committee recommended that slope stability should be ensured by the project proponent before leaving the site.

The report dated April 17, 2023 informed the court that a report covering the points related to mining officer, horticulture officer, cracks developed in the houses of nearby village and agriculture officer including the compensation for the damage to the crops is being filed by the District Magistrate, Ramban separately.

The joint committee recommended that apart from providing the compensation for the loss of crops, the remediation of the agricultural land damaged as verified by the agriculture officer is to be restored to its original condition by the project proponent under the supervision of the concerned agriculture officer of the area.

The matter related to execution of tunnel T-77D for the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramula Rail Link (USBRL) at village Channar, Bankoot, district Ramban, Jammu & Kashmir by IRCON International Limited.