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Uttarakhand minister's fast at Delhi from tomorrow

Press Trust of India  |  Dehra Dun 

Drinking Water Minister Mantri Prasad Naithani had yesterday threatened to go on indefinite fast from July 10 to seek the early completion of the project.

"With the blessings of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, I am going to New Delhi to go on indefinite fast from tomorrow seeking early completion of the Srinagar project," Naithani said.

A three-member team of experts from the Centre had last month made an on-the-spot assessment of the project on the Alkananda river near Srinagar town in Pauri district. The Centre is yet to take an action on the report, official sources said.

Among others, Shankracharya Swami Swaroopanand and other seers are also up in arms to save the Dhari Devi temple from submergence.

Last year, BJP leader Uma Bharati had observed an indefinite fast on the same issue.

It has been alleged that GVK, the power and infrastructure company completing the hydel project, increased the capacity of the project from 200 MW to 330 MW only to destroy the Dhari Devi temple.

However, a large number of people from Srinagar town have resorted to agitation asking the Centre not to stop its construction in the national interest.

RLEK, a Dehra Dun-based NGO, which is spearheading a campaign for building hydel projects on the river Ganga, today said it has sent scores of activists to New Delhi in support of Naithani's cause.

"We badly need electricity for all kinds of progress in our country. So we are supporting Naithani," Avdhash Kaushal, RLEK's chairperson said.

Though GVK has agreed to elevate the temple from its current location to avoid its submergence, the BJP is opposing the move tooth and nail saying any relocation would affect the sanctity of the temple.

"Be it Dhari Devi temple at Srinagar or Ram temple at Ayodhya, they should not be relocated or even elevated," BJP leader Bhagat Singh Koshiyari said.

First Published: Mon, July 09 2012. 15:35 IST