Feature Image:- NDRF team search at Tapovan Vishnugad barrage as rescue operations continue. Source: Business Standard
Hydroelectric projects (HEPs) in India have been causing avoidable accidents and amplifying disaster potential, thus damaging the rivers eco-system, local environment and lives & livelihoods of communities. There have been several of such incidents across the country in 2021. In this report we put together a state wise account of most such incidents.
March 14 is International Day of Action for Rivers, against destructive projects. The main objective is to ensure that the river people have their say in the decision-making processes which affect their rivers and related livelihoods sources and that the decisions are informed decisions.
Here we are bringing forth the struggles of riverine communities in India in past one year to make decision makers aware of their hardships and impacts of destructive hydro and dam projects on the riverine eco-system.
The power channel (canal) of 330 Mw, Srinagar Hydro Electric Power (HEP) project has been leakingsince December 16, 2018 affecting Surasu, Mangsu, Naur and Supana villagers in Srinagar, Uttrakhand.
Villagers were alarmed when the gushing water started reaching fields, cowsheds and some village homes. They staged aprotestand demanded that canal be repaired within three days. Following complains to local MLA Vinod Kandari, a team from Uttrakhand Irrigation Department and Public Work Department (PWD) inspected the affected areas.
The Kritinagar SDM Anuradha Pal also inspected the villages and issued notices to Alaknanda Hydro Power Construction Limited (AHPCL) the developer and operator of the project. She also formed three member probe team comprising of Executive Engineers from Irrigation Department, PWD and Revenue official to look into the issue.
The Char Dham All Weather Road Project has been approved by National Green Tribunal (NGT) on September 26, 2018. The controversial project has evoked several environmental concerns right from the inception stage.
Almost more than one and half year into the unmindful implementation of the project, the risks and fears associated with the project are clearly visible throughout the construction route. In last few months, several independent reports have also raised serious concerns over the haphazard manner in which the project is being executed through sensitive hilly terrain.Continue reading “Char Dham Highway Project: An overview”→
Chronicle of an emphatic victory against crushers continued from May 2015 onwards
After hosting two days long workshop on Sustainable Mountain Development (02-03 May 2015) Maletha continued its agitation against stone crushers. The event popularised the villagers’ strength and struggle on wider platform.
On 8th of May 2015, villagers issued warnings of resuming indefinite hunger strike if the govt. failed to take a stand on the issue of stone crushers. A protest march was organized on 15th of May 2015 and two villagers Vimla Devi, head of Mahila Sangrash Samiti and Dev Singh Negi started observing fast on alternate days. Setting 25th May 2015 as deadline for State Govt. to act, villagers again demanded closing down of all illegal stone crushers running in Kirti Nagar block.
Meanwhile referring to High Court Nainital (HCN) April 2015 order, State Govt communicated that firm action will be taken against crusher units violating the stipulated norms. Following that, Commissioner Garhwal (GC) CS Napalchyal visited Maletha. Despite finding one stone crusher belonging to Satyam Shivam Sundaram Company violating environmental norms, he ordered a magisterial probe in the matter. Feeling disappointed by state machinery, Hemanti Negi a village woman sat on indefinite hunger strike on 25th May 2015.
Srinagar of my thought A recent trip to Srinagar, Pauri Garhwal was educative and eventful. Myself belonging to border areas of Pauri District, I had heard village people often talking of Srinagar in casual conversation. During summer vacation, I would think of travelling to native village via Srinagar but could never explore the route. Watching snaps of Pauri and Almora towns, I imagined of Srinagar town on similar lines as a cascade cluster of modern buildings. In June 2013, the town was in news since an infuriated Alaknanda River waters had engulfed it. Continue reading “Why the Srinagar Hydro Electric Project continues to remain a threat”→