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Disastrous landslide in eco-sensitive zone Uttarkashi (Photo by: Sumit Rana)

 

Bhagirathi River area is suggested as Eco-Sensitive Zone but increasing large number of hydropower construction, empolyment is in dengerous.

 

For opposing the construction of projects in Ganga River area, Dr. G.D. Agrawal, Professor and Dean, IIT Kanpur, sat for hunger strike. In view of that, the former finance minister of India Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and two other Union Ministers Mr. Jai Ram Ramesh and Mr. Shushil Kumar Shinde had decided to close the three Hydro Projects (Loharinag Pala, Maneri and Baron Valley) in 2010. The Government of India has stated that:

“Declare the approximately 135 km stretch from Gaumukh to Uttarkashi as an eco-sensitive zone under the environmental protection act 1986."

 Declaring Bhagirathi region as an Eco-Sensitive zone means developing this area without causing any harm to the area. Many hydropower projects have been created for power generation in this area whose losses are described below: -

  • Any advantage of electricity generated by these projects financially is not provided to the regional people, who are living in the Eco-Sensitive zone.
  • The construction of these projects does not provide long term employment to local people. In three to four years the construction of the projects gets completed, after which the local people become unemployed.
  • Hydroelectric projects directly affect to our nature, environment, and eco-system, which reduce tourism for a long time and the employment gets reduced.

Instead of promoting hydro projects in Sco-Sensitive areas, tourism can be encouraged in this area, which will give following benefits:

  • Increasing tourism will increase the employment options for regional people, which will not be temporary employment but will be a source of income for a long time.
  • Promoting tourism will not lead to physical losses to nature and tourism will increase.

 

The Contractor lobby is behind the demand for scrapping the Eco-Sensitive Zone, not the people.

After coming to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Now we do not have to take anything from the Ganga, only we have to give to the Ganga." Therefore, we request the Prime Minister that Bhagirathi Eco-Sensitive Zone should be kept secure, and the entire hill region of the Ganga must be made a Eco-Sensitive Zone so that people can get long term employment.


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