Standoff continues at Luhri power project near Rampur

Standoff continues at Luhri power project near Rampur

2022-04-13 01:34:57

Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 12

The standoff between the residents of panchayats in the vicinity of the Luhri Stage 1 Hydro Power Project at Neerath, near Rampur, and the SJVN continues.

Around 700-800 people from different panchayats held a protest at the site of the project on Tuesday and blocked the national highway for about half an hour. They reiterated their demands such as compensation for damaged apple and stone fruits, bringing more panchayats under the “affected panchayats” category, etc.

“We will not let the work start at the project until our demands are met,” said Sandeep Shroal, pradhan of Thanadhar panchayat. “SJVN officials met us only after we blocked the national highway. The police came there and called SJVN officials for a dialogue with us,” he said. CPM MLA Rakesh Singha also accompanied the protesters.

The villagers had forced the SJVN to stop the work on the project 10 days ago, saying that the dust emanating from continuous blasting was affecting pollination in apple trees.They, however, are in no mood to let the company resume the work unless their demands are met.

“We are demanding compensation for the stone fruit and apple which have been damaged or totally destroyed by the dust coming from the site,” said Kaku Ram, vice-pradhan of Shamathla panchayat. “Also, the company needs to revise the criteria of 900 m from the site to declare any panchayat as affected panchayat. The dust is wreaking havoc in many panchayats way beyond the fixed distance,” he said.

Meanwhile, SJVN official RL Negi said that efforts are being made to settle the issue amicably. “Stopping the work is not going to benefit anyone. There are certain rules and regulations framed by the government and we can’t go beyond that,” said SJVN official RL Negi.

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