Nahan (Nov 17): Renuka Bandh Jan Sangharsh Samiti (RBJSS) and Himalaya Niti Abhiyan today completed their 24-hour token hunger strike Renuka Dam, during which 30 activists set on fast at Dadahu and more than 700 participated in a dharna opposing the dam construction.
Pratap Singh Tommar, president of RBJSS, rejecting the proposed project demanded that it should be scraped terming that it would not only destroy thick forest and ecology but also make local population as paupers as they would be forced to leave their motherland. He alleged that the government doubled rate of land from Rs 60,500 to 1, 36 000 and 1,96,000, “which are very good rates for nakabil (non-agricultural) land”.
Yogender Kapila, convener of the Samiti, said that a fraud has been committed in purchase of land by Himachal Power Corporation Limited for rehabilitation of affected families as land has been purchased form propriety dealers at the rate of Rs 3,40, 000 to 6,80,000 at four sites near Paonta, which is also of the category of Banjar Kadim, but HPCL has awarded Rs 60,500 for the affected people for the same category. He demanded CBI enquiry into the matter.
Puran Chand, secretary of the Samiti, opposed the categorisation of 457 bigha land as ‘nakabil’ on which 32,640 green trees are standing. “It is a land deemed under the forest category, for which forest clarence is required,” he claimed. Guman Singh, coordinator of Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, raised the issue of techno-economical feasibility of the project and claimed that it is not a feasible project. “It will be an ecological disaster, destroying more that 15 lakh trees and inviting landslides and erosion in the fragile Giri valley,” he claimed.
He also commented that the Himachal government should demand more R&R package from Delhi and the Union government. because it is basically a project for Delhi. “It is shameful that the state government is not taking up this matter with Delhi and forcibly acquiring land,” he said.