The widening of the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh stretch under an all-weather road project has triggered a campaign at Gurna village here to save a natural water spring that local people say is under threat.
The spring at Gurna Mata temple is the main source of water for the residents of Gurna village, said Basant Ballabh Bhatt, the organiser of Gurna Dhara Bachao Abhiyan'.
Authorities, however, say there is no threat to the spring under the project to widen the road.
Villagers claim that it is the only such spring on the 150-km Pithoragarh-Tanakpur road, and is often used by travellers on the route that takes an arduous six hours to cover.
However, the National Highways authorities said they will ensure that the Rs 1,200 crore road-widening work does no harm to the spring.
Apart from the standing instructions from the government that all natural sources of water must be saved, we have received a letter from Pithoragarh district magistrate V K Jogdande requesting the construction agency to save the Gurna natural spring at all cost," NH executive engineer L D Mathela said.
He said the company carrying out the construction has been told to comply with the instructions. The firm has been asked to seek expertise from geologists, if needed.
Mathela said two such springs, at Barakot and Dhaun, were saved when the road was widened there.
Work is underway on the last 15-km portion of the Tanakpur-Pithoragarh road, which is being widened from three metres to six metres.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)