Section 144 imposed as protesters start hunger strike



Nahan (Nov 16): The Himachal Pradesh government today impose imposed Section 144 (unlawful assembly) of IPC and declared ban on any demonstrations even as activists of Renuka Bandh Sangharsh Samiti, protesting against Renuka dam, started off their hunger strike. The Chief Minister is expected to inaugurate Renuka fair in the vicinity of the dam area today.

Locals have been protesting against the proposed dam, which is to supply water to Delhi. The ministry of environment and forests has already refused to allow diversion of forest land for the project as a large number of trees are expected to be felled for the project. Protesters have been claiming that after the rejection of forest clearance for this project, the state government is now acquiring agriculture land forcibly where as land acquisition proceeding should be stalled till all clearances are granted.

Guman Singh, coordinator of Himalayan Neeti Abhiyaan, said they were against submergence of large area under agriculture as it would rob the locals of their only means of livelihood. In a letter written to Sonia Gandhi, the Samiti has stated: “In light of the recent debate on the Land Acquisition Act 1894, we want to point out that the Renuka dam project will also drown 376 hectares of agricultural and 60 hectares of horticulture land (according the R&R plan), producing food and commerce vital to the people of this country. It is in light of these facts; we would like to point out that the Renuka dam severely endangers the food producing farmers of the Giri Valley of Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh. The dam will also impact the local climate as well as affect climate change, cause deforestation and destroy bio-diversity.”

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