Rigzin Samphel Hayerpa Convener of Jispa Bandh Jan Sangarsh Samiti and Vice Chairman, Zila Parishad, Lahaul & Spiti while speaking to The News Himachal said that the 300 megawatt Jispa Hydro Electric Project cum Water Reservoir dam at Jispa is proposed to be constructed in Lahaul Spiti district is a Himalayan Cold Desert belt and ecologically highly fragile and geologically very sensitive area. He added that the region falls under seismic zone which could trigger earth quakes and will prove detrimental to the integrity of the Dam Structure. And he said construction of this mega project will disturb the climate of Himalayan region, and also glaciers located in the surroundings of this project will melt away with double speed, underground water sources and natural water sources will dry up which will ultimately effect production, soil fertility, grazing area, forest cover and forest based livelihoods and cycle of seasons, will cause immense damage to the rich Alpine biodiversity which is unique to this area only.

He also said the dam site borders with China and Pakistan thereby it is strategically very sensitive displacing inhabitants from such strategic area would invite security threat to the country. Further he narrated that the Bhaga river which is a tributary of Chenab whose water usage is the one under Indus water treaty with Pakistan. Hayerpa said by building this dam would create unnecessary conflict with Pakistan on water sharing issues. He said that the Panchayati Raj Institutions of Lahaul Spiti which includes the highest body of Panchayati Raj, Zila Parishad, Lahaul and Spiti, Block Development Committee, Lahaul and thirteen panchayats in their specially convened meeting have also strongly opposed this project and unanimously passed resolutions, they urged the Govt.Of India to abandon this mega project in the larger interest of the public and Himalayan environment. Rigzin Hayerpa urged the Union Minister of Environment and Forest, Jai Ram Ramesh and also Prime Minister of India Dr.Manmohan Singh to abandon this project of its huge environmental and Socio-economic fall outs and the larger interest of the Himalayan people.

Mohan Lal Railingpa