Lahaul residents oppose power projects on Chenab river basin

Lahaul residents oppose power projects on Chenab river basin

Residents of Lahaul-Spiti after a meeting in Keylong. Tribune Photo

Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Mandi, August 23

After flash flood incidents in Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur this year, people are opposing the setting up of power projects on the Chenab basin in Lahaul Spiti. The state and the Central governments have proposed dozens of power projects on the basin to generate electricity but the residents of area are opposing the move.

The residents were huddled together recently under the banner of the Lahaul Spiti Ekta Manch at Keylong to chalk out a strategy to oppose the decision.

Sudarshan Jaspa, president of Lahaul Spiti Ekta Manch, told The Tribune, “This tribal district is eco-fragile where setting up of power projects may prove disastrous. The power projects will adversely affect the ecology of area, which may result in melting of glaciers rapidly, resulting in natural calamities.

46 projects proposed

As many as 16 mega and 30 micro power projects are proposed in Lahaul Spiti at different locations on the banks of Chenab and other rivers in the area, which will only bring doom to the area. —Sudarshan Jaspa, President of lahaul spiti ekta manch

“As many as 16 mega and 30 micro power projects are proposed in Lahaul & Spiti at different locations on the banks of Chenab and other rivers in the area, which will only bring doom to the area if these projects are executed,” he remarked.

“The adverse effects of power projects were seen in Uttarakhand state and in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, where landslide and flash flood incidents had wreaked havoc. The people of Lahaul Spiti are apprehensive that the setting up of these proposed power projects will badly affect the ecology of area. So, we are not in favour of the decision to set up power projects here,” he said.

“We urge the Chief Minister to think over this issue and shun the idea of setting up of power projects in Lahaul-Spiti,” he added, adding “We are united on the issue and will oppose the decision of government tooth and nail,” said Jaspa.

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