Ski village projects runs into fresh trouble
The controversial multi-crore Himalayan ski village tourism project in Kullu district, which had failed to take off due to protests by locals and later a case in High Court, has run into fresh trouble from the government side now.india Updated: Dec 05, 2009 12:50 IST
The controversial multi-crore Himalayan ski village tourism project in Kullu district, which had failed to take off due to protests by locals and later a case in High Court, has run into fresh trouble from the government side now.
The state cabinet on Friday decided to serve a show cause notice for cancellation on the Ski village company for not fulfilling mandatory requirements pointed out by the government.
The company has been asked to explain its view point within four weeks.
"The cabinet has decided on a show cause notice on the basis of report of the High Powered Committee, which had gone for a public hearing on the project in Manali in June this year. The committee had pointed out certain lapses by the executing company,’’ said chief secretary, Asha Swaroop.
The ambitious ski village project, which had foreign investment by Ford Motors, was approved during previous congress tenure. It has remained in hot soup, with people opposing it, fearing loss to environment and livelihood.
It was a big political issue against the previous congress government, with BJP, then in opposition, also terming it against ``state interest’’ from social, environment and economic point of view.
Later, there were Public Interest Litigations in the High Court.
The Court had asked the present BJP government to decide on the issue, following which a High Powered Committee was constituted and asked to go in for public hearing.
The chief secretary said the company executing Ski Village was supposed to prepare a Detailed Project Report and get clearance on Environment Impact Assessment from the centre. ``But it failed to do so despite repeated intimations,’’ she said.
She said the executing company had sent EIA report to centre for approval once, which was rejected. ``After this, the company did not re-apply. The government told it several times to fulfill the requirement, but there was no response. But it was not complied,’’ the chief secretary said.
She said there were social concerns also, which had come up during the public hearing by a high powered committee of the government in Manali area this year.
``The people had taken up that the project is not in the interest of the area. There were some economic issues also,’’ the chief secretary said.
According to sources, there has been lot of questioning to the BJP government, for going silent on the issue of ski village, after coming into power in December 2007.
Even in the public hearing in June this year, the people had collectively opposed it.
But what raised eyebrows was that the High Power Committee, headed by Secretary, Tourism, also took five months to submit it report to the government.
Meanwhile, according to information, a top executive of ski village executing company, John Simms met the chief minister after the cabinet meeting. He said the notice was a opportunity for the company to explain its ``view point’’.