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India waives requirements for several hydropower projects

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Development of hydropower projects in several Indian states could benefit from the country's Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), which reversed a recommendation requiring cumulative impact assessments for three new hydroelectric plants.

Effected by the committee's decision are the 800-MW Tawang 2 in Arunachal Pradesh, 520-MW Teesta 4 in Sikkim and 775-MW Luhri in Himachal Pradesh.

FAC said last year that it couldn't consider giving the projects Stage 1 environmental clearance until comprehensive hydrology, ecology, wildlife, sociology and disaster management studies had been completed, though the requirements were relaxed in an effort to help meet India's growing demands for power, sources said.

India's National Board for Wildlife has also announced that it will grant a wildlife clearance to the 444-MW Vishnugad Pipalkoti hydropower plant, though it must still receive clearance from the State Board of Wild Life.

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