No scientific backing behind Centre notifying eco-sensitive zone in Uttarakhand: Activist

Updated on Jan 30, 2018 09:09 PM IST
Social activist Avdhash Kaushal has threatened to launch a movement for revival of the hydel-power projects stalled in the area streatching from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi
Stalled hydro power project Pala Maneri in Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone.(Anupam Trivedi/HT File)
Stalled hydro power project Pala Maneri in Bhagirathi Eco Sensitive Zone.(Anupam Trivedi/HT File)
Press Trust of India | ByPress Trust of India

Social activist Avdhash Kaushal Tuesday threatened to launch a movement against a Centre’s notification declaring an area from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi as eco-sensitive, claiming it had led to stalling of power projects and forced Uttarakhand to procure electricity from outside.

The amount being spent to buy electricity could be used to upgrade nearly 12,500 government primary schools and minimise migration from the state, he said.

Kaushal said that he would not let the tax payers’ money go to waste in the stalled hydel-power projects and launch a movement for the withdrawal of the notification.

Threatening that his organisation -- RLEK -- would “fight in the streets and courts” for revival of the stalled projects, the activist alleged that the notification had no scientific backing.

To buttress his argument, he referred to a resolution passed by the Uttarakhand Assembly on March 29, 2011.

The resolution had opposed the Centre’s notification on the ground that no opinion was sought from environmental scientists before it was issued, the activist said.

“It lacks scientific backing and is based on wrong theories. It shall have an adverse effect on the development of the area. People of the area are upset with this and they have shown displeasure against the notification by holding agitations from time to time,” he said.

The Centre had issued the notification declaring a 135-km area from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi as eco-sensitive in December 2012, over a year after the resolution passed by the state Assembly.

He alleged that the erstwhile votaries of the resolution were now silent over the issue due to political reasons. “My NGO will build a movement around it,” Kaushal said.

“The leaders of the Congress who were there when the resolution was passed by the Assembly are now ministers in the BJP government. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ was then the chief minister, but none are taking up this cause,” he said.

“Uttarakhand is spending Rs 1,000 cr a year on buying electricity which can be used to upgrade 12,500 government primary schools in the state which lack infrastructure and in minimising migration from the hill villages due to absence of basic facilities,” the social activist said.

Due to scarcity of electricity, offices and homes are forced to use generators, which is one of the major factors making Dehradun the fifth most polluted district in the country, he claimed.

“However, RLEK will not let the tax payers money go waste in the stalled hydel projects. We are going to fight against the eco-sensitive zone notification on streets as well as in the court and start a big movement against the government,” the activist said.

“The most worrisome fact here is that on the other side of the eco-sensitive zone, China is fast developing roads and hydel-power projects to develop their area. This can be a potential hazard for the nation’s security,” Kaushal said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Fresh forecasts from weather institutions indicated that more rain is likely over coastal districts of Karnataka.

    Karnataka: Rain in coastal districts set to continue

    Rain in Karnataka continued in several areas, filling up reservoirs and dams, with more to come, according to forecasts. The Karnataka natural disaster monitoring centre has predicted widespread moderate to heavy rainfall in several parts of the southern state, with isolated very heavy rains likely over coastal districts and widespread very light to moderate rains likely in the Malnad area. Karnataka has seen heavy rainfall over the past weeks.

  • People enjoy an evening in the rain as sea waves lash the seashore at Marine Drive during high tide, in Mumbai, India, on July 07, 2022.

    IMD issues orange alert for Mumbai, high tide hits Marine Drive amid heavy rain

    The Indian Meteorological Department has issued orange alert for Mumbai and Thane, with intense to very intense rain predicted at isolated places in the region till 10am. As per IMD, intense to very intense rain with gusty winds reaching 40-50 kmph very likely at isolated places in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Palghar till 10 am today, reported ANI.

  • These students have challenged an alleged note of the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) not considering the 2020-21 marks for entrance to professional courses in 2022. (REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

    Karnataka CET candidates challenge non-consideration of 2020-21 PUC marks

    Some students who passed the Pre-University Course in 2020-21 but are also writing the Common Entrance Test in 2022, have approached the High Court. These students have challenged an alleged note of the Karnataka Examination Authority not considering the 2020-21 marks for entrance to professional courses in 2022. A single-judge bench of SR Krishna Kumar heard the petition on Monday. The petition was filed by Keerthana Y H and a dozen other students.

  • The Chief Minister directed the Chief Secretary to conduct another round of meetings with the district administration. (ANI)

    Karnataka CM Bommai aims at hoisting 1 crore flags under Har Ghar Tiranga

    With the Centre's Har Ghar Tiranga campaign pacing up across the country, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai reviewed the preparations across the state and said that the southern state aims to hoist 1 crore flags in Karnataka. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai directed officials to make the 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign organized to mark the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav a success. The distribution of flags is already underway. Ministers Govind Karjol, V. Sommanna, C. C. Patil.

  • CM change in Karnataka might be on the cards, said ex-MLA B Suresh Gowda. (Image source: B Suresh Gowda/Twitter)

    Karnataka: BJP high command may take decision on CM change, says ex-party MLA

    Amid murmurs within the Karnataka BJP circles about the possibility of an overhaul in the party and the government ahead of the 2023 Assembly polls, former MLA B Suresh Gowda on Monday indicating about some changes said the high command will take a call on replacing the Chief Minister and other matters.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 09, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now