Look beyond cement and hydro-power industry in HP


By: Shoonya

Isn’t it amazing how the rest of the world is falling over each other to grab a share of Himachal’s water and rock – the Jaypees, the Ambujas, the ACCs, all big time business honchos in toe.

I am told the Jaypees, the Ambujas, the ACCs are not naïve. If they are paying for it, they must have a good reason for this. They are buying rights to our water and rock so that they can sell it. They buy from us our water and rock, and they have the skill to sell these as electricity and cement and make money. Great! It seems like a win-win situation for all.

I really can’t say what they earn from selling these to others. I am just concerned about what do we get from selling our water and rocks to them. For that let’s try and fix a price to our water and rock. Both of these are abundantly available in Himachal and they come to us for free. Until the Jaypees, the Ambujas, the ACCs et al hadn’t eyed these, we were putting them to some use; the best being using them scarcely.

Many of us across the state are unhappy over the way they are using our rock and water. Sorry! I forgot, they’re not ours any more. And their unhappiness seems like an anti-development rhetoric. The accusatory pitch is so high and well managed that, one, the unhappy voices seldom escape the ravines which they haunt. And two, when they do escape to the world outside, they immediately get labeled as “anti-development”. It’s quite politically-incorrect to be “anti-development” in modern times for there is so much currency riding on development – not in terms of synergy between people’s awareness, expectations and choices, but in terms of growth and economic prosperity. Could we, for a moment, risk being labeled anti-development-wallah and ask if the oustees of the hydro-power dams, cement plants and SEZs would be happier with or without these?

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  1. I agree with Soonya, that HP Govt should get Money for using it's water and Rocks, but how can you say that Industry is not paying for it and mind you whatever U charge to Industry, it is passed on to the consumer, because the Industry can absorb all the Mfg. expenses to some limit, out of their profits.

    Secondly saying that Cement & other oustees are not settled so far is not true. Can any one put forth the statistics. Only few after taking hefty money for their land may not have settled, for if they waste their money in Drinks, gambling, marriages etc and the society does nothing to guide them, how can u blame the Industry or the Govt.

    There is a true saying- 'WE BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BE'.

    If we want to be part of Dynamic Group busy in creating Greenery around, we be part of that. If we want to be partner in Industrialisation process, we help in creating jobs for needy ones.

    If we only remain busy, like our Opposition Parties, in criticising our Govt. & Industry, for all its' actions. whom are we harming, our own society.

    We ought to think how govt should wipe out 28000 crore debt of the state, rather than saying, it's govt. creation and they only should handle it, we will only punch holes in whatever govt. does, to increase it's Income, Employment opportunity, reduce its' debts, infrastructure, building hydle projects etc.

    Can some enlightened people come out with suggestions to govt.-

    Make Electricity WITHOUT making Hydle Projects, because environmentalists and socialists DO NOT WANT IT.

    Creat Job Opportunities, WITHOUT putting new Industries, because Environmentalists and Socialists DO NOT WANT IT.

    We have to live with WIN WIN situation and strike a Balance.

    Environmentalists say that animals should not be killed, it's OK if they kill your child, your wife, your husband. How many of us have persued the Forest Dept to Plant fruit trees in the jungles, so that monkeys who are a big nuisance today, donot come to roads, colonies, houses in search of their food.

    These are my personal views and others are welcome to differ, but I request them to differ with a convincing logic.

    – SSJ

  2. Hope SSJ your personal view remain personal and dont contaminate the rest of us.

    You certainly dont sound to be a Himalayan resident who can understand the pain Cement has caused.

    It has uprooted an easy going peasantry, damaged the road infrastructure, clogged the highways and on top of it attracted AIDS by creating lowly paid trucker jobs for the locals.

    If this is your idea of development, sure enough you are contributing much towards society.

    Why has the cement industry not moved into Jammu and Kashmir, or Uttrakhand, can you give me convincing logic for that.

    They fear the gun in Kashmir and the people in Uttrakhand. Himachal is easy game.

    Its because big industry is hand in gloves with political parties whose levers operate from Delhi.

    Election funding remains a reason for state assets being damaged by encouraging such industries which leave behind huge social costs only to make them rich.

    Regarding hydro-electricity, I can assure you that Himachal has enough to meet its needs for the next few generations.

    It is the power guzzling city centres which want to rape the Himlayan ecology so that they can spend summers in air-conditioned environments.

    Norway is the largest producer of hydroelectricity in Europe but it by policy has taken a conscious decision not to tap 30 Percent of its potential, only for conserving the environment.

    And here in Himachal, our leaders are saying please come, self identify a project site, set it up, turn water into gold and never mind if you encroach upon the livelihood of some poor farmer whose land is dependent upon the water you use for generating electricity.

    Surely we do not need hydro-electricity or cement plants at such costs. And we will fight for it.

    Sure enough, these are also my personal views.

  3. Dear Ravindra,

    I read your comments. I would love to engage with you on a healthy discussion on the above topic.

    I surely donot wish to contaminate YOUR views, because you are certainly ONE OF THE FEW who can live or create problems for others but Have you got any proposal to Solve following issues-

    1. Generate Jobs for increasing youth population unless you decide to have to job for yourself and leave all others as JOBLESS.

    2. Harness our natural resources, unless you want to keep it burried.

    3. Make houses with cement, unless you CAN STOP OTHERS FROM USING CEMENT AND to make everyone live in mud houses.

    4. Get more revenue to the govt, so that it serves people, unless you wish that Govts. should go BANKRUPT and Public services go dry.

    I Remember, my guruji used to teach us in childhood, God has given us this precious life of a human being. It is useful if you have –

    – Done Something to improve the environment and planted trees – The company I work with, provided me an opportunity to plant more than 5 Lakh trees over a period of 5-7 years.

    – Done something to improve the earning capacity of people around you, be it villagers or job seekers.

    – Helped people around in fetching jobs suiting to their education and experience.

    – Reduce economic dependancy of people on rich money lenders.

    – Extended Help to the society around by active participation in Health, Education, Youth Welfare, Cultural Development, Social and Economic Upliftment.

    Can you please enlighten us, as to how you propose to do this?

    Your views ——-are welcome, and wish that you convince me with your logic.

    Regards – SSJ

  4. SSJ


    "The company I work with, provided me an opportunity to plant more than 5 lakh trees over a period of 5-7 years."

    So that's where the money is coming from that feed your ideas.

    Since you are hiding behind initials without disclosing the company or your name, you lack credentials to even make the dubious claims you put out here.

    You certainly are much concerned about:—-

    4. Get more revenue to the govt, so that it serves people, unless you wish that Govts. should go BANKRUPT and Public services go dry.

    —— And sure enough your company must have contributed much to the government and government men lest they become BANKRUPT.

    The Company must have prospered in between.

  5. Dear Ravinder,

    How do you propose to change the society around you –

    You seem to be quite hardened in your views. Which way you want to sail, opposite the current or with it.

    Akela Chana Bhad Nahin Phod Sakta, this is quite true.

    If you have a spoiled system around it is we who are to be blamed for it, and no body else. Have you ever seen any HONEST person being honoured in our Society or State or Country.

    We need great people like you who should show the world the path, solution to various ills/problems.

    Yet the best for us to practice is Live in this world without practicing/encouraging corruption

    God bless you.

  6. @SSJ

    What I have gathered from your posts above and other posts is:

    a) Take away the land from farmers and give it to the industry. Farmers don't need to be paid as per market prices.

    b) Throw away the original habitants away from the native land as they are a hinderance to the growth and prosperity

    c) Make more dams, have more industry in the state, enviormental concerns are not an issue

    d) Industrialisation is good for the state whether it adheres to the state's ecology or not.

    Can you share some data / analysis how it will make help in the growth of the state. What will be the percentage of employment of the youth of the state and most importantly at what level? Where will all the dislocated people go and what they will do?

  7. Dear NITYIN,

    What u have avered is your thinking, I certainly donot mean that.

    I meant a balance should be maintained if we have to sail with time, or else we go to Jungle and live Stoneage life, because few people out of the whole lot donot want Industrialisation, because of which we get clothes, Electricity, Cement, Consumer goods, Good Roads, Rail etc and we also want farmers to grow vegitables, grains so that people like you and me have two time meals alongwith farmers.

    But I am not able to digest that Industrialisation will hurt farmers(though few farmers will get displaced )vis a vis large nos. getting benefitted. Even with so much of Industrialisation, the cultivable land has Increased and Not Decreased, lest we all would have been starving. The Yield too, thanks to scientists, has gone up.


    Any proposals, any solutions or simply hardening one's thoughts, and other's thoughts too.How should the state pay salaries of the HP govt. employees, generate jobs for the youths and pay off it's Debt of Rs. 29000 Crores

    We ought to learn to be more practical because simple thoughts donot give us food to survive, house to live and clothes to cover.

    No one in this world can vouch for extreme views/stands. In our life too those who maintain balance, succeed and others meet different fate –

    I am certainly for –

    "Reasonable Land Rates – Prevailing Market Price " for farmers, but who will decide it, the seller or the buyer, or a third agency who should be Impartial, taking care of Interests of both.

    Growth with control on Pollution so that Industry does not contaminate Invironment. Those who do it should be punished heavily, so that others take lessons.

    Why do we adopt an ideology which deprives majority of people to lead the life they were living and become hinderance in improving their lots. Without increased Income, how can they spend on increased cost of Medicines, Education of their children, better living with each village getting connected with roads.

    I wished I could learn something from you for the better of all of us.

    Regards – SSJ

  8. But SSJ, what our other friends are saying are worth thinking……… I mean we the people of state have right to know the truth behind the steps govt. takes to grow economically….. and I believe there must be balance between economy and ecology…………….. after all we have certain responsiblities for this beutiful planet 🙂

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