Denotify ecozone to facilitate work for Chardham road project: CM to Centre
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday urged the Centre to scrap its order notifying the Bhagirathi valley’s 4,000 km area as the eco-sensitive zone, saying its continuation would affect the all-weather Chardham road project.dehradun Updated: Apr 23, 2017 20:06 IST
DEHRADUN: Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sunday urged the Centre to scrap its order notifying the Bhagirathi valley’s 4,000 km area as the eco-sensitive zone, saying its continuation would affect the all-weather Chardham road project.
“As it is, it (order) has blocked development forcing people to migrate creating demographic vacuum in the Bhagirathi valley. I insist that the issue needs to be reviewed and scrapped as it will end up hampering the (Rs 12,000) crore all weather Chardham road project mooted by the Prime Minister,” Rawat said at a meeting of chief ministers convened by NIti Ayog in Delhi.
Rawat emphasised on the need to lift the ban on the construction of hydropower projects in the central Himalayan region. “The construction of some 33 hydropower projects (with a 4,100 megawatt power generation capacity) is hampered, thanks to a slew of orders by the Centre as well as the 2013 order issued by the Supreme Court,” he said. “As a result, investments worth Rs 41,000 crore are affected.”
He urged the Centre to provide Uttarakhand an annual assistance of Rs 2,000 crore to compensate the annual financial loss of Rs 1,500 crore after it was divested of its special category status.The special category status was withdrawn in keeping with the 14th Finance Commission’s recommendations.
Rawat appealed the Centre to provide a special package to facilitate rehabilitation of over 337 villages that fall in the geologically sensitive zone. “The number of such villages that stood at 232 before the floods that ravaged the state in 2013 has now increased.”
The CM suggested that the Rs 16, 200 core Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail project would be inordinately delayed, if suitable changes were not made in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013. “Acquiring land for the project is taking time, thanks to the strict provisions of the law.”
Rawat stressed the need for setting up infrastructural facilities in Uttarakhand to check forced migration and also in view of its tough geographical terrain as well as its sensitive location.
He suggested that the Centre constitute a separate ministry for the mountain states. Such a ministry, if formed, would help prepare development strategies for hilly areas. “(At least), Niti Aayog should have a dedicated cell to ensure development in the mountain states,” he said urging the Centre to provide Uttarakhand an annual green bonus of at least Rs 4,000 crore as compensation for the ecosystem services.
First Published: Apr 23, 2017 20:05 IST