Himachal Government imposes ban on Hydro projects in trout habitat

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To propagate trout in the natural waters of Himachal Pradesh, the state government has decided against setting up hydropower projects in the Tirthan Valley in Kullu district.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has announced in the state assembly. In 2004, the government imposed a complete ban on allotting hydro projects in the Tirthan River. However, now the government has included its tributaries too under the ban as two hydropower projects working there have a negative impact on the aquatic fauna.

The history of trout in Himachal Pradesh dates back to the colonial rule. The British introduced trout in 1909 to promote game fishing. The trout – mainly the brown ones – is currently found in a 600 km stretch of the Beas, Sutlej and Ravi rivers in the upper Himalayas where no other fish species survive because of the extreme cold climate.

According to the fisheries department, the entire Kullu Valley offers one of the best spots for trout fishing in the Beas and its tributaries – Sarveri, Parbati, Sajoin and Phojal.