Kullu: High-pitched protests are something uncommon in Himachal Pradesh, but on Saturday residents of Kullu valley redefined social resistance as they nearly turned violent protesting the Himalayan Ski Resort project during the public hearing called at Kothi village.
Drawing criticism for having called a public hearing without even having the detailed project report, the six-member committee constituted by the government for the purpose was forced to watch the protest as mute spectators as villagers made their verdict known to them.
The committee members could not say anything as the gathering kept on agitating against the project by raising slogans. The situation turned worse amidst hot exchange of words between the family of one of the directors of the project and public resulting in manhandling of a family member of the director. Luckily the situation did not aggravate further even as a handful of cops stood there as side spectators.
The protest was spearheaded by Jan Jagaran Avam Vikas Sanstha. BJP leader Maheshwar Singh expressed doubts about the agenda of the meet, stating that it was not clear whether the government wanted opinion on the MoU signed in December 2005 or any new arrangement. Former MLA Chandersen Thakur claimed that he had requested the government to provide him the DPR of the project but the request was refused.
Chairman of the committee, Monisha Nanda, tried to justify their silence by stating that they were there only to know public opinion on the direction of the high court, but the frustration on the faces of the committee members was quite visible.