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Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 27, 2013
Was the Uttarakhand tragedy really the fury of a goddess who was forced to relocate? The locals seem to think so. Dhari Devi near Srinagar, Uttarakhand, is considered to be the protector of the char dhams. The temple of this Hindu deity, believed to be yet another manifestation of Kali, is located on the banks of river Alaknanda, 19 km from Srinagar.

But on June 16, hours before the flash floods hit the upper reaches of Uttarakhand, the temple of Dhari Devi was shifted further uphill to prevent it from being submerged by the waters of the 300 MW hydel power project being built by the Alaknanda Hydel Project Company a subsidiary of GVK power. The idol, which rested on a small hill, was cut from its base.

For years, the locals had been protesting the relocation of the temple but the state government was adamant about the shift. Reason: Without that relocation the project work could not start.

GVK officials, however, claim the relocation was decided much earlier and was not done in haste.