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Uttarakhand

Posted at: Mar 30, 2018, 12:04 AM; last updated: Mar 30, 2018, 12:04 AM (IST)

Doon convention to unite anti-dam organisations

Jotirmay Thapliyal

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, March 29

In strong opposition to the proposed Indo-Nepal joint venture Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, villagers, public welfare organisations and intelligentsia will meet in Dehradun on April 21-22 to formulate their future course of agitation.

A staggering 5,040 MW Pancheshwar project is a joint venture of India and Nepal and is proposed to come up on the Mahakali river that forms international boundary between the two countries. Uttarakhand’s three districts of Pithoragarh, Champawat and Almora are to be affected on the Indian side.

Dehradun convention will have the participation from villagers, public organisations and intelligentsia, all of whom are opposed to Pancheshwar project. Even state agitationists will attend the Dehradun convention in large numbers.

Tripan Singh Negi from Chetna Andolan disclosed that they would oppose the Pancheshwar project tooth and nail and the Dehradun convention is aimed at formulating future line of action for the agitation. He said the very acquisition of land for the project was unconstitutional and was an infringement of the Forest Rights Act 2006.

He said the government apathy towards villagers can be gauged from the fact that even land for compensatory afforestation is being taken away from the villagers. Reservoir of proposed Pancheshwar Dam that will be over 90-km long and will be spread in three districts of Pithoragarh, Champawat and Almora districts and over 5 lakh trees are to be felled for the purpose.

Another anti-Pancheshwar dam crusader Puran Singh Rana asserted that it was strange that while on the one hand the Uttarakhand government talks of curbing migration from hills, on the other it was promoting construction of such big dams like Pancheshwar. It was a way of uprooting people and encouraging migration.

He said the Dehradun convention would be an ideal platform for all pro-environment and pro-people organisations to come together and put up a fight to challenge to designs of those, who believe in destruction in the name of development.

Another organisation opposing Pancheshwar project, Jan Hastakshep, which is a forum of opposition parties in the state and public organisations in Uttarakhand, has termed as “loot and corruption” by the state and the Central governments the execution of the Pancheshwar dam project in Uttarakhand.

India, Nepal joint venture

  • A staggering 5,040 megawatt Pancheshwar project is a joint venture of India and Nepal and is proposed on Mahakali river that forms the international boundary between the two countries. 
  • Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh, Champawat and Almora are the three districts to be affected on the Indian side.
  • Tripan Singh Negi from Chetna Andolan disclosed that they would oppose Pancheshwar project tooth and nail and the Dehradun convention was aimed at formulating future line of action for the agitation.

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