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.