Villagers say no to Luhri power project
- Villagers say no to Luhri power project
Tell panel that it will dry their water sources, hit crops
Tribune News Service
Mandi/Purlog, August 9
Villagers from 11 gram panchayats in Mandi district, under the banner of the Satluj Bacho Jan Kalyan Samiti, today lodged their objections before a panel headed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mandi, during a public hearing and said no to the 38-km-long twin tunnels of the 775 MW Luhri power project being executed by the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam on the Sutlej.
Interestingly, on the other hand, villagers from the Basantpur area, which falls in Shimla district on the left bank of the river and where the SJVN is planning its colony and hospital, supported the project and asked the panel to go ahead with it.
People from 11 panchayats - Bindla, Purlog, Teban, Sarahan, Gwalpur, Nanz, Khadra, Baridhar, Shaut, Pokhri and Chamidhar - including their panchayat representatives, pradhans and BDC and zila parishad members, told the panel that they were opposed to the construction of the 38-km-long twin tunnels in their area as these would dry up their drinking water sources and affect crops. They said the Sutlej would disappear for 38 km that would increase the local temperature by several degrees that would in turn ruin the apple belt of Dalash, Ani and Kotgarh and the vegetable belt of the Nanz area in Mandi district as well.
The villagers objected to the public hearing being held under heavy police presence and said many of them had to travel up to 120 km to attend it.
Nek Ram, president, Jan Sangharsh Samiti, told the panel that the present form of the Environment Impact Assessment report of the project was unacceptable to them and they were opposed to the project.
Ramesh Chand Verma, panchayat pradhan, Bindla, where a powerhouse is coming up, and Purlog panchyat pradhan Hem Raj submitted letters of opposition bearing the signatures of villagers to the panel.
Guman Singh, convener of the Himalayan Nitti Abhiyan, and Atul Kumar of the Satluj Bachao Samiti of Shimla said the present form of the project would ruin the entire vegetable and apple belt.
Mandi Deputy Commissioner Devesh Kumar, General Manager of the SJVN SK Sharma, the SDM, Karsog, the DFO, Karsog, besides officials of the state pollution control board were present and they recorded the objections on the project and vediographed the proceedings.