villages oppose power project through Tehri forests
DEHRA DUN, SEPTEMBER 3: VILLAGERS who participated
in the Chipko movement of the seventies are up in arms again
as thousands of trees are reportedly being cut so that two
corridors of high tension transmission lines to carry power
from the Tehri Hydro-electric project to Meerut can be constructed.
Recently, villagers from Advani village in Tehri district
protested against the felling of trees and stalled work on
the transmission lines.The
villagers were angry at the officials’ claim that afforestation
has been going on in Hardoi and Jhansi districts of Uttar
Pradesh to compensate for green cover lost in Tehri. ‘‘What
is the use of planting trees in far off areas when villagers
here are deprived of their forests,’’ asked Dhoom Singh Negi,
a Chipko leader.
The villagers are demanding that the corridors be constructed
through wastelands. They want financial compensation for farms
ruined by the project and jobs in the sub-stations. Power
Grid Corporation officials have visited Advani village after
the agitation and assured villagers that their demands would
The Power Grid Corporation has to cut out two corridors, each
95 metres wide, for the construction of the high tension lines.
This means that thousands of pine and sal trees from a forest
more than a 100 years old will be cut before construction
of the corridors can be sanctioned. The power lines will carry
8 lakh KW of power.
Work on the second corridor, which will pass through Rani
Pokhri in Dehra Dun district and through the proposed Rajaji
National Park, has been going on.
Vipin Kumar, environmentalist and convenor of the Self-Help
Environment Programme (SHEP), said the threat to the park’s
animals from the high-tension wires has not yet been studied.