By: ML Verma
Shimla (Aug 3) Public hearing for the 750 MW Luhri hydropower project coming up on the Satluj river would be organized at Parlog village 20 km from Suni on August 9. 2011 as it was earlier deferred after protest by locals.
While talking to HimVani, Satluej Jal Vidhut Nigam Lt (SJVNL) project manger Satish Kumar said that they held a meeting with concerned gram panchayat representatives at Luhri today, requesting them to take part in the hearing, where as executive summary of EIA and EMP have been distributed to the people of affected panchayats.
He said that company would listen to the concerns of locals during the hearing as it has already conducted two such public hearing in Kullu and Mandi districts earlier. He said that Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the district administration would conduct this hearing in which SJVNL would assist the former for smooth functioning of it.
Affected villagers and Gram Vikas Samit Bandala president Salig Ram said that they were raising the issue of local development, and insisting on peaceful and congenial atmosphere which gets eroded after coming up of such projects. The Bandala gram panchayat villagers would also organize pre-hearing meeting on August 7, 2011, to discuss their issues to be raise during the hearing, he said.
He alleged that the last hearing failed as a number of people started shouting at the venue while the real stakeholders could not be listened. He said that Bandala Vikas Samit would mainly press for keeping the official colony of the project near the power house so that local people could get economic and commercial development out of
project after getting maximum employment and other benefits.
The project would come up in three district – Kullu, Mandi and Shimla – the hearing for the first two have been organized successfully while it is due in Shimla district now.
The ‘run of the river project’ involves construction of twin tunnels of 9 mt diameter, which will impact nearly 89 villages of Mandi district and 36 villages in Kullu district as an underground tunnel will run for 29 km from Suni to Bandala.