Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur on Monday said that hydel power projects are responsible for loosening of fragile strata in tribal district of Kinnaur.
Replying to a call-attention motion brought by Kullu legislator Maheshwar Singh about the landslide in Urni village, Thakur said that the strata are very fragile in hilly Kinnaur district.
He said that heavy blasting done for construction of tunnel is not advisable for an area like Kinnaur. “We will ensure the use of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for construction of tunnels in the area,” he added.
Thakur further said that continuous landslide had caused construction of natural lakes in Sutlej river and also disrupted traffic on the national highway. He also informed the House that a team of state geological department officials had inspected the site and gave some recommendations.
He said the team of experts had said that canals used by villagers of Urni should be cemented so that water seepage could be stopped. He said the team also recommended that the slide muck should not be dumped into the Sutlej river.
“The team also recommended putting an end to the traditional way of irrigation in apple orchards of Urni,” he said while adding that irrigation should be done with sprinklers or pipe waters.
Meanwhile, Maheshwar Singh maintained that stopping irrigation could not be a solution to the problem caused by unplanned hydro project construction. He said that there should be a proper plan and the people living in the village should be rehabilitated in some other areas.
Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the plan for rehabilitation of the affected people is under consideration.
Thakur further informed that the government was trying to ensure movement of the vehicular traffic in the area. For the purpose, the government had released `5.48 crore for the maintenance of roads, in particular from Tapri to Choling.
He said the government was also exploring other alternatives of connectivity in the district. He added that for construction of Leo bypass and alternate road on Urni Dhank, the proposal was under consideration of ITBP.
Regarding the suggestion of Maheshwar Singh, Thakur informed that the proposal for construction of a tunnel is under consideration.