New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) Accusing the Union Environment Ministry of only listening to a “handful” of environmentalists and religious leaders and shutting down hydro power projects in Uttarakhand, a state minister today demanded that the Centre take a final call on the future of such works. “We are in Delhi to put across our views on dams and hydro projects before the Centre. We will hold an indefinite fast at Jantar Mantar from tomorrow till our side is heard,” Uttarakhand Water Resources Minister Mantri Prasad Naithani told reporters here. Maintaining that the Congress government in the state was not against the Centre he said it wanted its version to be heard at the appropriate levels. He claimed the state government, like environmentalists, was equally concerned about pollution in river Ganga. “But there is hardly any pollution in the river in Uttarakhand. If they are so concerned, they should look at the pollution in Ganga in Kanpur, Mathura, Varanasi and Allahabad,” Naithani said. He said hydro projects are started only after getting due clearance from the Environment Ministry and there was no logic in putting on hold the works following demands made by a “handful” of environmentalists and religious leaders. Maintaining that run-of-the river projects in Uttarakhand will not affect the flow of the river, he said due to stoppage of work, the state is facing an annual revenue loss of Rs 15,000 crore at the rate of Rs 4 per unit. He said his agitation has the support to Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and other Congress leaders from the state. “I have also sought the support of MPs of other political parties from the state,” Naithani said. He said due to stoppage of work on projects, the state was facing employment programme and was being forced to seek additional power from Himachal Pradesh.
Src: IBN Live