Describing Uttarakhand as the main stakeholder in the proposed Pancheshwar multi-purpose project between India and Nepal, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Tuesday called for a rehabilitation policy which does justice to people to be displaced by the mega project part of which comes under Champavat district of the state.
“Uttarakhand, which is the main stakeholder on the Indian side in Pancheshwar project, has already made its stand clear in this regard. “The state must get its due share of the power produced by the project. The lessons learnt from slipshod rehabilitation of people displaced by Tehri dam should be kept in mind and a rehabilitation policy be framed in such a manner that people to be affected by the project are suitably compensated,” Rawat said.
With its limited resources, Uttarakhand cannot rehabilitate people to be displaced by the mega venture between the two neighbours entirely on its own, he said.
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Rawat expressed happiness over the importance accorded to the project during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Nepal and talks with Nepalese leadership saying it was an indication that the collaboration between the two countries in jointly tapping of the water resources in their territories will increase in the years to come.
In a letter to Union Water resources Minister Uma Bharti recently, Rawat demanded 13 per cent of power free of cost from the project as compensation since a substantial population of the state will be affected by it. Pancheshwar project in Champavat district will submerge an area spread over 120 square kms and affect 19,700 people in 60 villages, he had said in his letter to Bharti.
Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is covered under integrated Mahakali Treaty signed between Nepal and India according to which, equal sizes of underground power house i. e. of 3240 MV will be constructed on each side of Mahakali river in India and Nepal. The project also offers the benefit of regulated water for irrigation to a vast area of agricultural land both in Nepal and India along with benefit of flood control at downstream.