No lesson learned from Tehri Dam
People Boycotted KBHEP Phase-1 “A” Public Hearing
Project Name: Proposed Kotali-Bhel Phase-1 “A” Hydroelectric Project (195 MW)
River: Bhagirathi (Tehri Distt.) Uttarakhand
Public Hearing held on: 16-1-2007
Agency: National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC)
The compound of under construction state Dispensary in village Bagi, District Tehri, Uttarakhand was decorated for the EIA public hearing of Proposed Kotali-Bhel Phase-1 “A” Hydroelectric Project (195MW). One person on behalf H.N.B.University, who prepared the EIA, furnished his long presentation.
The project proponent has distributed 26 point leaflet at the time of public hearing which only stated about the benefits of the project not the real impact.
Then ex-principal of a collage Mr. Girdhar Pandit stood and said that this public hearing is not according to notification because People did not get access to any document, which could have given them information about the impact of the project.
In big number of affected people come and shout slogan ‘stop public hearing’. They were holding play card saying ‘public hearing is fake, where is EIA & EMP? Postpone public hearing; provide full EIA & EMP in Hindi.
Mr. Krishnakant, Member of Area Panchyat said that people are unhappy. They do not know what is going to be happening? What will be the affect of the project? So this public hearing should be re-organising after providing all the related documents.
Affected People submitted a letter about their demand shout slogan and boycott the public hearing stood outside the pandal.
Public hearing continued with NHPC officials and non affected persons. And some ignorant villagers who know nothing about why public has been organised and what are their rights. They pointed out the impact which already done damage to the project affected villages. The villager also protested for postponement of public hearing and boycotted it. They were incapable of registering their opinion without proper information.
Even after the repeated protest by the villager of the effected area to postpone the public hearing in absence of proper information about the project. These documents were even not provided to Panchyats offices of effected villages.
People’s demand written in the letter given at the time of public hearing:-
- The EIA and EMP report and other document should be made available at the village level make them understand at least one month prior to the public hearing.
- All the document should be in Hindi. Govt. talks always talks about promoting Hindi.
- This public hearing should be conducted after the formation of competent Govt. and should also be conducted at least in two of the affected villages.
Development for all, not only for few