In Lahaul-Spiti, outrage over proposed hydel projects

Dipender Manta
Tribune News Service
Mandi, February 9

Apprehending an Uttarakhand-like catastrophe, residents of Lahaul-Spiti district have raised their pitch against the proposed hydel projects in the ecologically fragile Chenab river basin.

Himachal has allocated several power projects in the Chenab basin to prominent companies like the SJVNL, NHPC, HPCL and NTPC. In addition, several hydropower projects are in the pipeline for Tandi, Rashil, Bardang, Miyar and Jispa in Lahaul-Spiti. Petrified by the Chamoli mishap, residents of Tandi and Goshal panchayats held a meeting to oppose the proposed projects on the Chenab banks. Tandi panchayat pradhan Virender Kumar said: “We oppose the decision of the government to set up power projects in Lahaul-Spiti as it will adversely affect the ecology of the area. We have passed a resolution against the Tandi project.”

Demand to shelve Chenab projects

  • Himachal has allocated several power projects in the Chenab basin to SJVN, NHPC, HPCL and NTPC
  • An association of NGOs, Himdhara, has demanded a complete moratorium on new projects in the fragile Himalayan regions of Kinnaur & Lahaul-Spiti

Voicing similar fears, vice-president of NGO Save Lahaul Samiti Vikram Katoch said residents of the district were united in their opposition to setting up of more hydel projects in the Chenab basin. He added that campaigns would be held across the district to spread awareness about the ill-effects of power projects.

Rigzin Semphel Heyreppa, president of the Jispa Dam Sangharsh Samiti, said, “In Kinnaur, projects have been set up indiscriminately, causing severe damage to the ecology. People in Lahaul-Spiti will not allow a repeat of Kinnaur.”

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