Fearing threat to their sources of water for drinking and irrigation purposes,locals,along with members of NGOs and voluntary bodies,have begun a peaceful protest at Jadera near Chamba to oppose upcoming private sector hull (4.5 MW) hydro power project.
On Tuesday,the protest,under the banners of Sal Ghati Sangarsh Morcha,entered its eighth day with more people from neighbouring villages participating.
Rattan Chand,a local,claimed that even according to official reports,the project will pose a threat to drinking water supplies as well as for irrigation schemes in Sillagharat,Jadera,Barour,Sungal,Kaila and Paloohin Gram Panchayats. The proposal to build a 5-km-long channel will take a heavy toll on the rich oak forests,on which,the local gaddis and gujjars heavily depend for fodder, he added.
However,the state government has been trying to push this project despite local gram sabhas in Sillagharat,Jadera,Barour,Sungal,Kaila and Palhooin having passed resolutions against the project.
As part of state policy,priority is given to drinking water,irrigation,environment,bio-diversity,forestry and tourism over hydropower and industry. Then why does the government want to contravene its own policy in case of this project, said Kulbhushan Upmanyu,president of Himalay Niti Abhiyan.