Villagers up in arms against Luhri-II project in Mandi

MANDI: The villagers of Nanj under Karsog in Mandi district are up in arms against Luhri II hydropower project in Mandi district today.

Villagers up in arms against Luhri-II project in Mandi

Residents of Nanj village during a public hearing for Luhri Power Project II at Karsog in Mandi on Friday. Tribune photo

editorial@tribune.com

Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Mandi, December 6

The villagers of Nanj under Karsog in Mandi district are up in arms against Luhri II hydropower project in Mandi district today.

They gathered at a public hearing for SJVNL’s 172-mw Luhri-II hydropower project and termed the programme a farce. They rejected the social impact assessment (SIA) report prepared as part of the rules proceeding for the land acquisition process.

The villagers alleged that they were not given notice and information about the dam project prior to the hearing.

They said the report made by two private consultants did not have any details about the impact of the project. Angered by the damage to houses caused due to landslides during the survey work for the project, they said the area was fragile and not suitable for mega construction.

The locals said Luhri-II was one of the three projects being built on the Sutlej between Rampur and Kol Dam, the other two being Sunni Dam and Luhri 1 project.

A total of 174.35 hectare of land is required for the Luhri-II project alone of which about 150 hectare is forest land and the rest agricultural land.

Farmer and social activist Nek Ram Sharma told The Tribune that people of the area had their community rights over 150 hectare of forest land and the rights were not yet recognised under the Forest Rights Act 2006.

Zila Parishad member Shyam Singh Chauhan said the SIA was nothing but a bunch of lies presenting the false picture that the affected area had no source of water and that agriculture was not so beneficial.

Chairperson of the public hearing panel, SDM, Karsog, Surender Thakur said the SIA report had several shortcomings.

He assured the people that the report would be sent to the Central authorities only after it was revised and inputs of the local people were incorporated. He also conveyed that there would be no attempt to acquire land by force for the project.

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