The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) President Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Monday denied the news reports of HP Government challenging the rights in Hon’ble Supreme Court over Kashang Hydroelectric Project and said that the news items are distantly related to the facts of the case.
Th. Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that HP Power Corporation Ltd (HPPCL) has challenged the judgment of Hon’ble National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed in appeal No. 28 of 2013 on the issues relating to No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Lippa Panchayat and other issues including putting up the case for obtaining forest clearance to the litigants in the appeal. “The judgment of NGT was challenged before the Hon’ble Supreme Court because certain directions of NGT were not feasible to be implemented. Hence the HPPCL had no option except to approach the Supreme Court of India to look into the directions issued by the NGT and to also clarify how these directions are to be complied with in the stipulated time,” he said. Also he added that some of the directions of the NGT required rectification to save the HPPCL from facing the contempt proceeding after the lapse of time for filing an appeal under NGT Act.
The State Congress President said that it is improper to say that in the appeal before the Hon’ble Supreme Court, HPPCL has acted against the interests of the rights of tribals. The State Government has further added that all the concerns of the Lippa Panchayat with respect to their land, apprehension of drying up water sources and other social parameters are being fully addressed in the relief and rehabilitation (R&R) and LADA Policies applicable in HPPCL.
The appeal in the Hon’ble Supreme Court by HPPCL does in no way interfere with the policies of the Congress which lays stress and emphasis on upliftment of the tribals. As a result, development of tribal areas in the State is at par with rest of the state. “The State Government in no way intends to reduce the benefits which are due to the people of Lippa and other Panchayats. It will not be out of place to add here that the Forest Rights of the project affected panchayats had already been recognized by the law under forest settlement of Satluj Valley Bushahar State of 1921 AD,” he added.
He added that Congress Government in Himachal Pradesh has already protected rights of the Tribals in the State and have relentlessly been working for development and upliftment of tribal areas in the State.