Over four hundred families that have been affected due to landslides triggered around the slopes of reservoirs near Tehri dam in Uttarakhand will have to wait longer for rehabilitation.
An expert from the MoEF says that the forest committee has refused to part with 406.8 hectares of forest land for rehabilitation
Over four hundred families that have been affected due to landslides triggered around the slopes of reservoirs near Tehri dam in Uttarakhand will have to wait longer for rehabilitation. Why the delay?An expert from the ministry of environment and forests says that the forest panel has refused to part with 406.8 hectares of forest land for rehabilitation and resettlement purposes. Which villages affected?By 2005-06, the Uttarakhand government completed a major resettlement of project-affected persons (PAP). But, the geological survey of India and an expert committee looking at the inspection of the area recommended resettlement of three villages—Sailakot, Nakot and Syanshu—that were affected by landslides and soil erosion triggered by the filling up of the Tehri reservoir. These three villages and several more not included in the proposal are located on the slopes around the dam reservoir spread across 42 sq kms. The resettlement has also been delayed as the state government wants to relocate the families in Haridwar while the Tehri Hyrdo Development Corporation Limited believe they should be rehabilitated around the dam reservoirs. What are the conditions?The ministry’s forest advisory committee while deliberating on the proposal took objection to the diversion of forestland for residential purposes, non-site specific activity and other allied construction activities. The expert committee has told the Uttarakhand state government that “approval for diversion of forest land may be accorded only if it is proved by the state government with credible evidence that there are no alternative sites for execution of the project.” The committee added that “the state government has requested that credible evidence be provided in support of the claim that the requirement of forest land is bare minimum and unavoidable.” What’s the plan?As per the state government’s resettlement proposal out of 408.6 hectares, 8 hectares of forest land is proposed to be used for residential purposes, 75 hectares of forest land is to be used for roads, irrigation channels and other community facilities. The majority chunk of 323.8 hectares will be used for agriculture. The Tehri dam built on the Bhagirathi River is the tallest in the country and the allied hydropower project has an installed capacity of 1,000 megawatts. The dam project and hydropower project has affected more than 17,000 families.
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