Luhri project affected villagers shoot legal notice to Himachal pollution board

Shimla : Villagers affected by the 750 MW Luhri hydro electric project in Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi district have raised severe objections to the announcement of the fresh public hearing on August 9 this year,saying their concerns have not been taken into consideration.

“The Samiti has sent a legal notice to the state pollution control board(HPPCB) and a memorandum to the World Bank in this connection,” said Manshi Asher on behalf of the Sutlej Jan Sangharsh Samiti here Wednesday.

“The announcement of the early public hearing date has been done without taking on board the concerns of the local people in relation to the project,” alleged Asher.

The project involves construction of twin tunnels of 9 metre diameter which will impact nearly 89 villages of Mandi district and 36 villages in Kullu district.

“But the EIA and EMP reports of the project have not included any details about the negative impact on these villages due to the tunnel construction,” Asher said.

“The EIA is incomplete as it makes no mention of these issues.Neither does the EIA talk about impact of the forest diversion for the construction work and transmission line component of the project. “

“It is on this ground the organisation has filed a legal notice asking for the withdrawl of the announcement of the hearing,” she explained.

The samiti has also written to the World Bank to take cognizance of the impact of tunneling as well as transmission lines need to be included in the evironment impact assessment studies and be made public before the hearing is organised.

The World Bank is one of the major financers of this project being executed by SJVNL.

“We the affected people need to be made fully aware of the impact of this project on our villages,land, forest and water sources,” she said.

In a 20 year career published widely. He has worked for the BBC, AFP, The Statesman, IANS and the Business Standard . Known for his hard hitting writing and occasional off-beat stories. He lives in Shimla.

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