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GVK's project faces fresh controversy

GVK officials claimed that the project on the river Alaknanda is in final stages of completion

Shishir Prashant  |  Dehradun 

GVK group’s attempt to commission its 330 Mw Srinagar hydel project in Pauri district of Uttarakhand has suffered a setback with the centre’s refusal to permit the company to uplift the Dharidevi temple.

“The centre has put up fresh restrictions on the company’s plan to uplift Dhari Devi temple,” said Sub-Divisional Magistrate Srinagar Raza Abbas.

A central monitoring committee had recently visited the dam site at Srinagar town in Pauri district and held talks with a cross-section of people there. The centre later put up fresh restriction on the company to uplift the temple.

GVK officials claimed that the project on the river Alaknanda is in final stages of completion. The project has already missed the 2012 deadline for its commissioning.

Last year, the state drinking water minister Mantri Prasad Naithani has claimed that Dhari Devi temple would not be allowed to come in the way of the completion of the project following an assurance from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Nainthani had observed one day fast at New Delhi on July 10 seeking early completion of the project along with all other hydel projects where a substantial amount of money had already been spent.

Interestingly, a high-level BJP delegation under the leadership of L K Advani had sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to save Dhari Devi temple from submergence in the reservoir of the Srinagar project.

Shankracharya Swami Swroopanand and other seers are also up in arms to save the Dhari Devi temple from submerging into the reservoir of the Srinagar project. BJP leader Uma Bharati, who had also observed an indefinite fast on the same issue, would visit Srinagar tomorrow as part of her fresh protest on the issue.

Meanwhile, the security around the dam site has been strengthened in view of the mounting tension in the area. “A large chunk of the local population wants to see early completion of the project,” said Abbas. Rural litigation and entitlement kendra (RLEK), a voluntary organisation fighting for hydroelectric projects in the state, has requested the BJP to reconsider its decision on the issue. “'We request the BJP leadership not to indulge in anti- development activities,'' said Avdhash Kaushal, chairperson of RLEK. Kaushal said that BJP and its ally, Vishva Hindu Parishad, should immediately stop misleading people about the Srinagar project and not indulge in false propaganda. ''Whenever elections are near, they start raising the issues such as Ram Mandir, Ganga and Dharidevi temple and try unsuccessfully to mislead people,'' he said.

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First Published: Sun, May 12 2013. 16:41 IST