August 12, 2012 6:40:15 pm
Close on heels of pro-dam protests,a section of environmentalists have blamed the construction of a series of hydel projects for the recent devastation caused by cloudbursts and heavy flooding in Uttarkashi district.
“If you temper with them (rivers),they will become angry and create havoc. This is nature where no one likes to be hurt,” ‘Chipko’ movement leader Sunderlal Bahuguna said.
Nearly 28 people were killed and hundreds rendered homeless on August 4 following heavy flooding of Assi Ganga river in Uttarakashi where a series of hydel projects are coming up.
The devastation caused by the floods has brought the controversial issue of hydel projects back to the fore with one section of environmentalists opposing them and others supporting them.
ahuguna,a Padam Bhushan awardee,alleged that the hydel projects are being built on the pressure of few contractors and some companies which “want to rake in moolah by devastating Nature”.
Echoing similar views,Anil P Joshi,who heads HESCO,an NGO working on environmental issues,asked the Centre to give priority to environmental issues against haphazard development.
“We welcome the government to set up (a) 35-km long eco-sensitive zone between Gangotri and Uttarkashi town. These devastations are the results of the tempering with the environment,” Joshi,a recipient of Padam Shree,said.
There had also been protests in Sringar town of the Garhwal region following widespread floods in the Alaknanda river where GVK company’s 330 MW hydel project is coming up.
Few years ago,construction of 2,400 MW Tehri hydel project had caused submergence of entire Old Tehri town along with 125 villages affecting thousands of people and rehabilitation issue lingering on,they claimed
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