MOEFCC is not serious about the National River Ganga
Matu Jansangathan and Local People of Devpryag Condemn the Non-Serious Committee Assessment and argued for free Ganga
On 10th December, a committee consisting of 5 members reached Devpryag without prior information to the local People. Whereas the local people were unaware about the arrival of the committee, local contractors were present there. People were waiting at Devpryag, where Bhagirathi and Alaknanda meets and made National River Ganga. The Committee members asked people their grievances about the Dams. Rajendra Negi and Sudershan Sah of Matu Jansangthan strongly kept their points like why big dams should not be built and the impact of already constructed dams. A representation addressed to the secretary of MOEF&CC was given by them to the said committee. A group of Srinagar people also argued against big dams on Ganga. Although the group of local contractors, who were well informed by the Dam companies fought with all the people who were putting their objections.
Matu petition narrated why big dam projects should not come up on the National River Ganga. They also gave three books describes about religious places in and around Devpryag and about the disaster made by the Dams. “One Sarsard ji form the committee asked them to bring the people who have signed the petition, and refused to take the books provided by Matu Jan Sangathan members and the local people saying “We will not take these books, can keep them personally”.
People raised objections, doubts and suggestions in the petition, as summaries here: -Only through a Hindi newspaper on 9th December people came to know that a committee from MOEF&CC coming to Devpryag. Other than this, no information to the local people, no information about committee’s subject and work area, no information about the time period the committee will assess the projects, no information about to whom this committee is going to meet, work area of the committee, awareness about the assessment field of the committee………………….Devprayag Known to be the origin place of the National River Ganga where Alaknanda Ganga and Bhagirathi Ganga confluence. The religious and cultural belief of Ganga ji cannot assesed by this kind of confusion. ………………….Uttarakhand is maternal home of Ganga ji and Ganga ji neglected Dam projects during the 2013 calamity. Due to Dams over on the tributaries of The Ganga the disaster level in 2013 disaster have been increased.
1. Because of Srinagar dam, residence of Bhaktiyana area have seen the flood all over.
2. Because of the broken Vishnuprayag Dam downstream 7 villages had to face heavy calamity. It causes damage of two bridges on River Alaknanda, one for the Badrinathji and second for the Hemkund Sahib.
3. Because of the emerging dams in Mandakini valley, Mahamaheshwar River and Kali River, the whole Valley is facing problem of landslides due to which the local people have to suffer.
4. The same situation arises in Bhagirathi valley. The surrounding areas of the Bhagirathi valley faces huge destruction.
The condition of all the tributary River of Ganga makes bad impact on Devprayag. Here the question is not of our religious beliefs only but of our future securities also.
In recent years many people have been flown with the unannounced water released from the Tehri dam, the record of these people is also not available. In 2016 one Sadhu Gopal Maniji was organized Gau- Ganga katha at Triveni Ghat in Rishikesh. The sudden release of the Dam water left them almost dead, somehow the local administration saved their life.
We are living in an insecure region. There are frequent landslides adjacent to Kotli Bhel 1A, even NHPC’s office was also damaged. Kotli Bhel Projects around Devprayag will destroy/ruin the morality of the Existence, Security and culture and belief of Devpryag.
It seems that MOEF&CC is not taking the dam impacts on National River Ganga seriously which is very much clear through this Non-Serious Committee Assessment efforts. This is to be reminded that Kotli Bhel 1A project was one of the 24 hydro-power Projects stopped by the Supreme Court and the environment clearance of Kotli Bhel 1B project was cancelled by National Environment Appellate Authority, the body before NGT. Kotli Bhel 1B and Kotli Bhel-2 did not get forest clearance form Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change.
If this committee visited to assess the socio-cultural effect related to minimum water flow in the Ganga and its tributaries, then how come they do it in a haphazard way? In two days only? Where long way to drive. How come local contractors were well informed? Who all were in the committee, was not clear to the people. People came to know about the committee and there members by newspapers on next day. MOEF&CC is to save the environment but it can’t be seen anywhere.
If any committee inquires local people without prior information, it comes under harassment. This kind of non-serious efforts of MOEF&CC should not be accepted and we will oppose big dams on National River Ganga.We demand the complete ban on all three Kotli Bhel projects and also cancellation of all 24 Hydro Power Projects Stopped by the Supreme Court. These Projects must be stopped, there is no need of rethinking over this issue.
Vimalbhai, Rajendra Negi and Sudershan Sah