Activists oppose Uttarakhand’s push for hydropower

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: Green activists of Uttarakhand are up in arms against the proposal to set up 12 hydropower projects in the state. Recently, Tehri Hydro Development Corporation India Limited got in-principle approval to set up 12 hydropower projects with the capacity of around 3,000 MW in Uttarakhand. 

Environmentalist Kavita Upadhyay says: “The central government is pushing for hydropower despite several scientific reports warning against the rampant construction in the fragile Himalayan state.”  Upadhyay is an expert in water policy who has worked on research on hydropower projects.

“By neglecting all data, and paying no heed to climate change-related disasters, the authorities are committing a disservice,” alleges Upadhyay. Experts point out an unscientific approach, insufficient geological studies pertaining to the fragility of Uttarakhand Himalayas.

“The inefficiency of expertise and knowledge in government machinery are catalysts along with ongoing projects such as Char Dham Pariyojana, Rishikesh-Karnprayag Railway Line, and many others which require hill cutting and tree felling,” says a green activist.  

Hydropower projects have been a cause for concern in the hill state. The data from State Disaster Management department reveals that landslides iregistered a whopping 2,900% increase from 2015 to 2020.