Reckong Peo: Thousands of the natives of the tribal belt of Kinnaur district held a massive protest against the hydropower projects at Reckong Peo on Thursday.
They have voiced their anguish against the plethora of problems and disaster that have resulted in the name of development.
The recent massive landslide at Batseri and Nigulsari where over three-dozen precious lives were lost including nine tourists has fueled massive unrest amongst the locals of the area that has resulted in the triggering of the campaign lead by the youth, ‘No Means No’ against the hydropower projects in the Satluj river.
This call for the rally and public meeting was organized by local organizations of district Kinnaur; It was done under the joint aegis of Himlok Jagriti Manch, District Forest Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti, Jangi Thopan Powari Sangharsh Samiti and Hangrang Sangharsh Samiti.
During the public meeting, the demand for cancellation of all the proposed hydroelectric projects in the Sutlej river in Kinnaur district was raised strongly.
Jangi Sangarsh Samiti, Roshan Lal Negi said that despite having raised the issue with the state government and district administration, however, there has been no fruitful results, every time clean chit has been given to power projects.
Shanta Kumar Negi of Hangrang Sangharsh Samiti said, “Despite special rights to the people of tribal areas in the constitution, our rights are being trampled.” The company undertaking power projects and the administration together want to intimidate and break the public, he rued.
“Our resources are being privatized on a large scale and this is leading to the development of a handful of companies, while the general public losing their livelihoods”, said Manshi Ashar of Himdhara environmental group.
Himalayan Niti Abhiyan Guman Singh questioned the model of disastrous development in the entire Himalayan region.
The speakers addressing the rally also spoke on the disappointing attitude of the government in implementing the Forest Rights Act 2006 and Nautor in the tribal areas of Himachal.
Jiya Lal Negi of the Zila Van Adhikar Samiti said that the officials of the district administration have no knowledge about the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, which is hampering the implementation of the same.
The organizations from Lahaul-Spiti also joined hands to make the movement a success.