New Delhi: Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar in a reply to a supplementary question in Rajya Sabha on Monday said that the Chamoli disaster in Uttarakhand happened due to glacier burst not because of hydropower projects as the government has not approved any new project in the region in the last six years.
According to Javadekar, although the probe into the Chamoli tragedy has not been concluded yet, he added that it appeared to occur due to a glacial burst which brought a huge amount of water and debris along with it.
"Retreating of glaciers happen. This is a kind of natural phenomenon and is also aggravated by climate change. No new project has been sanctioned in the upper-Ganga region," Mr Javadekar said.
He said the Environment, Jal Shakti and Energy Ministry had decided not to grant fresh permission to any hydroelectricity project.
"A total of 19 projects are already operational and seven are under construction of which two are less than 25 MW and six are run-of-the-river projects," Javadekar added.
"Climate change is not an area-specific problem. It is a problem of the entire globe. The funds promised in 2009 were 100 billion dollars per year for developing countries. It is more than 1 trillion dollars now. Funds are not coming in the way they should. Financial and technological support is basic to mitigating the impact of climate change," Mr Javadekar informed the House.
Denying the comment of Shiv Sena Member Priyanka Chaturvedi that the government was in denial mode on climate change, Mr Javadekar said, "I never said that unseasonal rain and climate change are not linked. I said that not every change can be linked to climate change. I had a meeting with the corporates. They are also working hard to fight climate change by planting more and more trees".
The minister said that an inquiry has already initiated over the Chamoli disaster.