Hydro electric project dumps waste in Ganga

| | Joshimath
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Hydro electric project dumps waste in Ganga

Thursday, 01 January 2015 | Pradeep Bhandari | Joshimath

At a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is stressing on efforts to clean the Ganga river and ensure its free flow, companies involved in hydro power projects in Uttarakhand continue to flout regulations to the detriment of the cleaning project. The Dhauliganga river in Chamoli district is one of the source streams of the Ganga but one of the companies involved in the Tapovan Vishnugad hydro electric project is dumping muck in the river and debris along its banks while the authorities remain apathetic. The rules are being flouted and consequently the environment is being damaged and the river ecology is being affected but no concrete action has been taken by the authorities.

Rithwik Projects Private limited is handling the construction of barrage and de-silting chamber (balancing works) package for Tapovan Vishnugad HEP. The company is dumping muck in the river with the debris dumped on the bank also proving detrimental to the trees growing there. Several tonnes of debris have already been dumped blatantly by the company along the banks of the Dhauliganga at Dhak. The villagers of Dhak state that the company continues to dump muck in the river. They also alleged that several green trees growing on the bank of the river have been damaged by the debris dumped by the company but the authorities are not taking any action. When this correspondent contacted the company officials regarding the improper dumping, they avoided giving a clear reply.

While the Central Government is spending funds and directing efforts to clean the Ganga, violations by companies involved in hydro power projects in Uttarakhand are working to the detriment of the environment and governmental efforts. In spite of the blatant violations by Rithwik company, the Forest Department has done little more than issuing challans to the company a couple of times. However, locals question whether simply issuing challans is enough as the authorities have failed to ensure that the company discontinues improper dumping of muck in the river and the banks.

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