Tags Posts tagged with "Pancheshwar"

Pancheshwar

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Uttarakhand is in the news again these days for four major reasons. One, the movement for the new capital of the state, Gairsain which gained tremendous momentum due to widespread protest demonstrations and hunger strike protests in various parts of Uttarakhand acknowledging extensive media coverage. Second, the visit of the nationally acclaimed crusader against corruption Anna Hazare. Third, the most sensitive issue of Pancheshwar Dam likely to be built over the Saryu and Mahakali rivers in Champavat district posing grave danger to more then 30 thousands families of the three districts of Uttatakhand including 130 villages. Fourth, the issue of collection of Funds of Rs 25 crores on the directives of the national BJP chief Amit Shah creating ripples and controversy in the political corridors of Dehradun and fifth, the rumours regarding the possible change of state chief minister.

To be very frank though this himalayan state does not hold much political significance in the central politics, particularly in the making or dethroning of the union government as it gives only five Lok Sabha MP’s to the parliament but it has always been at the centre of controversy in terms of corruption, change of 8 chief ministers in just 18 years and several other reasons whereas a small state like Himachal had been governed by merely 5/ 6 CMs since attaining statehood during the protracted tenure of 57 years.

What a difference of political character between both the Himalayan states. Well, the issue of Gairsain is still hot and the government of the day has relented to some extent by agreeing to hold the budget session in Gairsain in order to appease and asuage the feelings of the movement activists. Anna has also made his mark by holding few well attended rallies in Garhwal, Srinagar and mobilising people in favor of the new capital.

Pancheshwar issue being the central subject is being taken care by the union government with the state BJP government trying to work on the better compensation formula to appease the affected families and village population. The issue of 25 crore fund raising has also not gained much momentum despite little coverage in print and electronic media.

But it seems that the most controvertial and sensitive matter of the possible change in state leadership is spreading like a wild fire though there is no definite or authentic feedback on this pivotal issue except rumor mongering and speculations by the political analysts.

Even social networking site like facebook and several newspapers and electronic channels are carrying stories about the possible change in leadership with Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank as a prospective alternative. While as of now, I personally deny this speculation as merely a cooked up story but am also of the opinion that nothing is impossible in politics.

The present CM incumbent Triverndra Singh Rawat is considered to be the first hand most reliable and trusted man of national party chief Amit Shah and a trusted RSSite. Apart from this, he is trying his best to do whatever he can in a phased manner for the development of the state say his ardent followers. He’d satisfied the high command by collecting the requisite fund for the party to the tune of 25 crores in record time and had also been visiting Delhi very often to keep the central leadership happy and in good humour. Then what’s the problem.

The problem actually is that there are many over ambitious leaders in UK BJP who are still not able to tolerate the upgradation of their junior on the top slot of the state. These detractors are Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat, Vijay Bahuguna, Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and even Bhagat Singh Koshiyari including Major General Khanduri.

It is being said that since Satpal Maharaj, Harak Singh Rawat and Vijay Bahuguna are old Congressmen and do not fit in the trusted catagory of being CM the choice is non other then former CM and Haridwar MP Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. As far as Koshiyari and Khanduri are concerned they have already crossed 75 years of age and are considered to be misfit for being the state’s CM.

Moreover, if the news making the rounds of the political corridors in Delhi and Dehradun are to be believed the recent meeting called by Dr Nishank at his Dehradun house had good number of BJP MLAs present who pledged to support him in the event of the prospective change in leadership in the state.

Meanwhile, one of the strong and powerful MLA earlier in Congress, a protege of former cm Vijay bahuguna from Mangalore and now in BJP has already met Amit Shah in Delhi and presented him a memorandum demanding immediate change in the state leadership possibly favoring Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank.

Though nothing concrete can be predicted as of now but one thing is for sure that a spark of change has started spreading giving a clear signal that some development of a new kind may perhaps take shape in the coming future in the himalayan state of Uttarakhand.

SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

115

The massive dam to be built in Champawat in Uttarakhand on Saryu Maha Kali river is an invitation to a massive ecological tragedy in the offing which warrants immediate national and state level debate and discussions on widespread scale on its various socio economic, geo political, environmental, and security related aspects called Pancheswar Hydro Power Project to be constructed with the staggering cost of rupees 38000 crores likely to produce 4800 megawatt power, thus displacing about 32000 families and submerging about 132 villages, with 22 villages to be fully submerged.

These were the views of the former chief minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat while addressing a seminar at Uttarakhand Sadan, New Delhi as chief guest, organised by PANCHESHWAR BANDH PRABHAVIT SAMMITTEE who’s vollunteers came to Delhi to seek redressel from this impending imbroglio.

However, not outrightly clearing his stand on big dams to be constructed in Uttarakhand having allegedly already submitted an affidavit in the Apex court of India in favor of huge dams alongwith the BJP, the former CM Rawat lost no opportunity to castigate the union government to put the inhabitants of about 132 villages of three districts of Kumaon, Uttarakhand in acute financial and existential jeopardy by going forward with the Pancheshwar Dam project that would not only destabilise thousands of families but will also pose a massive and grave environmental danger and imbalance to(in)the entire Himalayan belt, particularly in view of the Champavat and its adjoining districts being in the high seismic Zone 4, where heavy and high magnitude tectonic upheavals can create ecological havoc at any point of time in the near future thus endangering the entire civilization.

Expressing his immense disenchantment over the so called Modi Magic in convincing the Nepal government to revitalise the Kali River treaty for the contruction of this huge 4800 megawatt capcity dam, which was in cold storage for the last several years, Harish Rawat said that this dam will not only completely destabilise the 32 thousand families of the three districts of Uttarakhand making them job less, shelterless and of nowhere, but will also create the gigantic problem of connectivity, immense ecological imbalance, loss of culture and tremendous pressure on the exchequer of the centre as well as the state as it will finally be the tax payers money that will be invested in this anti people dam.It may be recalled that out of the total 38000 crores expenditure, about 65% will be borne by the Indian government whereas Nepal will pay only 35% of the total cost.

While appealing to the lawmakers, particularly the members of parliament, across ideological and party lines to come together on one platform to save the likely victims of Uttarakhand likely to be submerged in this anti people dam, Harish Rawat also expressed the dire need for the detailed analysis on the likely negative impact on the scenerio of climate change which is already negatively impacting the the environment of the himalayas where glaciers are melting with high speed creating natural disasters such as the one happened in June 2013 killing thousands.

Rawat added that the government of the day should learn lessons from the Tehri Dam project of the nineties who’s implications are being felt and confronted by the displaced inhabitants even till date, after the 27 protracted years.

Harish Rawat said the questions of adequate compensation to the would be victims, there proper and adequate rehabilitation and other facets of the problems are still unanswered which need to be resolved forthwith before reaching to any definite conclusion of finally going ahead with the construction of this massive dam.

Harish Rawat said after the change of the government in Nepal and its pro China policy shift has also added more significance to the problem as expansioninst China and the current Nepal government (soft towards the dragons) would favor the Dam to be constructed at the earliest irrespective of the fact that more than 45 thousand people of both the nations are likely to be impacted by this massive dam. The increasing intervention of China in Nepal is also a matter of grave concern for India.

The Rajya Sabha MP Ajay Tamta expressed the urgent need to create a national movement against the big dams in the entire Himalayan belt and catagorically stated that he is against them, particularly Pancheshwar Dam, which will displace more than 32 thousand famlies and directly or indirectly affect 132 villages with 22 villages likely to be fully submerged.

He said the government of India is playing tricks and manipulations with the people likely to be displaced and has already earmarked merely 22 villages and about 1300 families to be compensated whereas the actual number of the affected families would go up to 32 thousand with the total village count to 132.

Tamta said that the time has come to stand united and fight against the onslaught of the dam and the powers that be as a huge danger of existence is in the offing. The construction of the dam will damage the entire forest area, the people and the civilisation and would immensely destroy the environment thus making the peoples’ future bleak from all angles added Tamta.

He said big dams are anti people and anti civilisation and should therefore be opposed tooth and nail.

The national spokes person of AAP Harish Awasthi appealed to the member of parliaments of Uttarakhand to raise the Pancheshwar Dam issue in both the houses of parliament and compel the government to revoke this anti people decision. He assured that he will approach the Delhi CM Arvind Kejrival and the recently elected Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh to raise this important issue in parliament and other forums so as to create public awarness on a vast scale.

Prominent amongst those who spoke on this occassion were former MP Mahendra Singh Mahara, for DGP and retired IPS KS Jangpangi, Scientist Tiwariji, President of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum Sunil Negi, Jagdish Bhatt, journalist Data Ram Chamoli, Nandan Singh Rawat etc.
The meeting was ably conducted by Rajendra Joshi.

SUNIL NEGI , PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

105

There are primarily two main issues that are prominently being highlighted in various parts of Uttarakhand and even in Delhi, the national capital and the pivotal issues are: one connected to Gairsain to be declared as the permanent capital of the 17 and a half year old state and another relaing to the contruction of a 315 meter high altitude dam over the Mahakali and Saryu rivers of Nepal and Uttarakhand likely to fully submerge about 64 villages of three districts of Uttarakhand and displace about thirty thousand families.

In order to provide fillip to the ongoing movements in Uttarakhand on these pivotal twin issues and mobilise the right thinking progressive people outrighty standing for Hairsain and against 480 billion worth of Pancheshwar dam, the intellectuals and social activists of Delhi and NCR collectively gathered at Press Club of India yesterday irrespective of the party, political and ideological affiliations and discussed at length the afore mentioned burning issues finally reaching to the conclusion that they will in the form of a unified conglomeration hold a protest demonstration from the Raisina Road, Press Club of India premises and present a memorandum to the prime minister of India on the burning issue of Gairsain to be made the capital of Ittarakhand undisputably and without any further delay. In a seminar cum meeting held at Press Club of India on 3rd of February the eminent literateur, poet and writer Manglesh Dabral hailed the ongoing movement for Gairsain capital and appealed to the progressive, secular and right thinking peoole of the country and Uttarakhand in particular to stand united and relentlessly struggle to reach to the final conclusion of the Gairsain demand as Gairsain according to him is not just an emotional and passionate demand but also significant from the point of view of its correct technical feasibility by being equidistance from both the Garhwal and Kumaon regions but also the birth place of the outstanding revolutionery of the country late Chandra Singh Garhwali.

Expressing his serious concern over the sorry state of affairs in the 18 year old Uttarakhand state Manglesh Dabral said that its most unfortunate that all the chief ministers of Uttarakhand right from Nityanand Swamy till date are functioning under the influence and directions of the bureaucracy which is utmostly against the demand of Gairsain to be ade the capital of Uttarakhand as their unholy nexus with land, illegal mining, builders and big dam mafias is very much protected and flourishing in Dehradun and they would never want to go inside the hills of Gairsain which is the symbol and embodiment of the decentralised over all development of the state. Speaking on the incessant plight of the inhabitants of Uttarakhand from interior villages to the plains Manglesh Dabral said today hundreds of villages have become empty and the spate of influx to the city is myriad which needs to be stopped at all costs and declaration of Gairsain as the permanent capital of Uttarakhand is the sole and only necessity of the present time.

He equated the the Mahakali and Saryu rivers as the pious Ganges and said that its highly deplorable that the present government is building a massive dam on it thus displacing thousands of the local inhabitants and spoiling the environment by binding the rivers and deforesting the heavy jungles considered to be our lungs and oxygen givers. Manglesh Dabral asked the agitationists to beaware of the anarchist and communal elements and said that the reactionery, divisive and communal forces including anti dalits should be kept away from such movements. He expressed his unhappiness and displeasure that intellectials, historians and movement activists like Dr. Shekhar Pathak and Dr. Shamsher Singh Bisht are not contributing to these pivotal movements of the hills.

The meeting was convened by All India Uttarakhand Mahasabha and presided by its national president Vinod Nautiyal whereas nicely conducted by the president of Uttarakhand Journalists Forum Sunil Negi. Prominent amongst those who spoke on the occasion were literateur and writer Dr. Hari Suman Bisht, Puran Dangwal, Colonel Dimri, sr journalists Gyanendra Pandey, Umakant Lakhera, Charu Tiwari, Avtar Negi, Suresh Nautiyal, Vyomesh Jugran, Sunil Negi, Vinod Nautiyal Kusum Kandwal Bhatt, Hansa Amola, Anita Nautiyal, Sushma Jugran, journalist, Subhash Traan, Dr. Surya Prakash Semwal, Pratap Shahi, Udai Mamgain Rathi, Chandan Gusain, Bhagat Singh Negi, Shiv Prasad Gaur, Umesh Pant and others.
SUNIL NEGI, PRESIDENT, UTTARAKHAND JOURNALISTS FORUM

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SUNIL NEGI
The big dams have always been dangerous the ecology and environment including the large population of the areas parlicularly in smaller states in the Himalayan range as not only they destabilise large local settlements by submerging ancient civilisation affecting the peoples’ lives and future but also result in large scale deforesation, make the already weak mountains hollow from inside due to large scale unscientific dynamite explosions to construct several kilometres of tunnels and finally making the areas earthquake prone and subjecting people living in or near the river belts highly vulnerable in view of the flash floods that arrive due to hundreds of thousands of tons of muck or landslide material falling into rivers making them narrow and squeezed.
The readers will be shocked to learn that about 598 large sized dams are in pipeline for construction in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand but except few the construction activity of these projects is for the time being is on halt due to the Apex Courts direction. However the union environment and the power minstry including the previous Congress ruled state government of Uttarakhand has already submitted affidavits of affirmation in the Supreme court giving their green signals for revoking the previous cancellation orders of the court.
Sounds shocking that despite the occurance of the catastrophic ecological disaster in 2013 that led to massive floods killing thousands of people, both the governments at the centre as well as the state have collided with each other and requested the court for giving a go through to these huge hydro power projects considered to be anti human and highly disasterous for civilisation. The people of Uttarkashi, Garhwal haven’ t still forgotten the quake that occured during the eighties/nineties at Chamak village and its nearby villages located over the tunnels of Tehri Dam resulting in heavy casualty and collossal loss to properties.
Hundreds of thousands of displaced families living in old Tehri Garhwal, the capital township of Tehri King since time immemorial were submerged in Dam water. There were protests all around. The international Chipko fame environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna undertook 74 days long hungerstrike against the construction of this dam. The work got delayed for years and the dam’s cost also escalated manifold into thousands of crores.
Though the dam oustees got settled after several years in Rishikesh, Dehradun and Newly constructed township called New Tehri on the top of the mountains above the Dam but the scars of pain are still fresh in peoples’ mind. It is usually said that if by chance this dam breaches it would destroy and devastate the entire civilization till Meerut and nearby areas in just 45 minutes.
The consequences of such huge dams are always horrific and beyond anybody’s imagination, though it won’t happen ever, guarantee the Engineers. Similarly, an INDO NEPAL joint venture new gigantic PANCHESHWAR dam with a power generation capacity of whopping 5,450 megawatt is lkely to be constructed on the SHARDHA and KALI river of Nepal and Uttarakhand. Being the biggest in Asia this dam will serve both India and Nepal.
This mega dam will cover the area equivalent to CHANDIGARH. The dam is so massive that it will fully submerge 7,600 hectares of area in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and 4000 hectares in NEPAL. As a result shockingly over 140 villages of the Almora, Champavat and Pithoragarh districts will be submerged. Thousands of trees n entire flora and fauna will be destroyed and more than thirty thousand people will become homeless leading to large scale influx to cities leaving their women and children behind to fend their families.
The state already in the grip of natural disasters and earth quakes has been the witness to various onslaughts for past several decades but the system at the helm is(are) still busy in ruthlessly defying nature for petty gains forgetting that Uttarakhand himalaya is already on the highest intensity 8 and above on the richter scale earthquake possibility Zone that can at any point in time from today till 50 years onward create havoc of unimaginative magnitude even affecting DELHI dangerously.