Villagers release hostages after 24hrs



Shimla: Protesting villagers in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district released the hostages after more than 24 hours of captivity, officials said.

The protesters were demanding acceptance of their demands by state-run Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) executing a mega run-of-the-river hydropower project on a Satluj tributary. Sub-divisional magistrate Naresh Thakur told Himvani over phone that all four project functionaries, including three senior officials of the HPPCL who had  been kept under house arrest by the villagers since Tuesday were released on the HPPCL’s assurance that most of the demands would be accepted.

He said their main demands included grants of construction contracts to the locals and steps to prevent deterioration of local environment. The project of 130 MW is called Kashang hydropower project. It is being made on Kashang rivulet, 275 km from state capital Shimla, and is being funded by the Asian Development Bank.

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