Jispa Dam project faces opposition : The Tribune India

Jispa Dam project faces opposition

SHIMLA: The 260-mw Jispa Dam project at the snowbound Lahaul valley faces tribal opposition.

Kuldeep Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 11

The 260-mw Jispa Dam project at the snowbound Lahaul valley faces tribal opposition. The dam aims at storing about 0.8 million-acre feet of water to feed 11 major power projects downstream in the Chenab basin.

Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) has sought police protection to carry out site investigation after the HPPCL team was not allowed to work there last month.

The Ministry of Power has declared Jipsa as a project of national importance and had awarded it to the HPPCL about five years ago. The dam will feed 11 major power projects, six in Himachal and five in Jammu and Kashmir, in the Chenab basin.

A faction of tribals under the banner of the Jispa Bandh Jan Sangharsh Samiti (JBJSS), which is spearheading the protest, disallowed the team to work at the project site last month.

The JBJSS faction led by Ringzin Hayarpa protested at the dam site. They have sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and National Green Tribunal.

“Our major concern is that the dam will oust 74 families of Darcha, Dangma, Sumoh, Lingchum, Schchling, Thangka, Rangyo-Baryo villages,” said Hayarpa.

He said the tunnel would dry the natural water springs that irrigate cash crops of peas and potatoes and provided drinking water to Gemur, Sarangvar, Khangsar, Kalath, Rangrik, Kolang and Kwuaring villages in Jispa valley.

He said the villagers could not be resettled in the valley as other areas were glacier-prone.

DK Sharma, Managing Director, HPPCL, said tribals fear was baseless. He said he had asked the district administration to provide police protection as certain samiti members were not allowing them to work at the project site.

The dam would have a positive impact on the local ecology as it was a dry cold desert, he said.

“We have been asked to submit the survey report to the Ministry of Water Sources, which has allotted Rs 7.5 crore for the project,” he said.

The project would bring in Rs 5,000-crore investment in the valley and the state had to invest only 10 per cent of the project cost while 90 per cent by the Centre, he added.

On settlement of oustees, Sharma said: “We are offering liberal packages and will not construct tunnel as the power house will be built near the dam. Jispa village does not fall in the submergence zone as the dam site has been pushed three km upstream.”

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