Hydro project deluge: Affected villagers write to Himachal CM, seek probe : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Hydro project deluge: Affected villagers write to Himachal CM, seek probe

Multhan residents claim entire village sinking due to large-scale water seepage

Hydro project deluge: Affected villagers write to Himachal CM, seek probe

A road covered with muck four days after the penstock of the hydropower project burst in Multhan. TRIBUNE PHOTO



Ravinder Sood

Palampur May 14

Over 100 persons, affected by the penstock burst incident at KU Hydropower Project, today shot off a letter to Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, demanding a high-level probe into the incident. Till date, though the Baijnath SDM and DSP have visited the affected area, no other senior official from the state government has taken stock of the situation on the ground.

‘Make plan to avoid manmade disasters’

The incident calls for an independent probe to thoroughly look into the leakage episode. The government also needs to prepare an emergency plan to avoid manmade disasters in the area. — Villagers in a memorandum to CM

In a memorandum to the CM and Dam Safety Cell, 117 affected persons — mostly from Multhan village — who suffered damage to their moveable and immovable assets urged the Chief Minister to appoint a team of top engineers and bureaucrats to probe the incident. Besides, they have asked that the power company be told to pay them compensation as per the market rates before the onset of the monsoon.

“The incident requires a serious independent probe to thoroughly investigate the leakage episode, construction of the project — particularly the penstock. The government also needs to prepare an emergency plan to avoid manmade disasters in the area. It is clear that the Himachal Pradesh Hydropower Development Department, Dam Safety Department and Disaster Management Department have all been negligent, callous and possibly worse,” the letter added.

The villagers alleged because of the company’s negligence, the penstock of the power project burst, damaging over 100 houses and shops, besides cultivated land. A flood-like situation arose in the area, including Multhan market. The roads were flooded and water carrying large amount of silt entered shops and houses.

The villagers alleged the company ignored environmental laws when the project was coming up.

“The muck and debris was stacked along the penstock, which later damaged the agriculture land. They said the penstock was leaking from the day it was installed, but the company turned a blind eye to it and it led to the incident,” the villagers said in the memorandum.

They said they were spending sleepless nights as the entire village was sinking because of large-scale seepage of water coming from the penstock and tunnel. “Though supply to the penstock was disconnected on May 10, water is still is coming out of the tunnel, aggravating the situation. The debris from hills is coming down to the village and cracks are visible on the slopes,” they added.

The villagers said it would take months for life to return to normal as most of the buildings, shops and restaurants had become unsafe.

It may be recalled that penstock of 25-MW KU hydro project at Multhan, 65 km from Palampur, burst on May 10, damaging shops and public property, and hundreds of villagers have been rendered homeless. Though the company operating the project had agreed to compensate the residents, no money has been transferred to the state exchequer to provide them relief.

#Palampur #Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu


Top News

Curtains on campaigning for 7th and final phase of Lok Sabha election 2024

Curtains on high-decibel campaigning for 7th and final phase of Lok Sabha election 2024

States going to polls in last phase include Punjab, Himachal...

PM Modi begins ‘dhyan’ at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

PM Modi begins ‘dhyan’ at Kanyakumari Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Ahead of his departure on June 1, Modi is likely to visit Th...

Mines explode after forest fire along LoC in J-K’s Poonch; blaze engulfs forests of Samba and Jammu

Mines explode after forest fire along LoC in J-K’s Poonch; blaze engulfs forests of Samba and Jammu

Locals allege some miscreants are triggering fire due to som...

Slew of fires keep forest staff on toes in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan and Kasauli

Slew of fires keep forest staff on toes in Himachal Pradesh’s Solan and Kasauli

Forest fire halts Kalka-Shimla train 15 km before its destin...

Modi first PM to 'lower dignity' of public discourse, says Congress leader Manmohan Singh

Modi first PM to 'lower dignity' of public discourse, says Manmohan Singh

The former PM also hit out at BJP government for imposing an...


Cities

View All