Former Ganga rejuvenation minister and BJP leader Uma Bharti has opposed any step to revive the stalled 600 Mega Watt Lohari Nagpala hydro power project on the Bhagirathi river in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand.
Bharti has also sought permission from the BJP high command to allow her to carry out a foot march from the origins of the river in Gangotri—situated in the Himalayas of the Garhwal region– to the Ganga Sagar in Bengal– where the river empties into the Bay of Bengal.
According to Bharti, the proposed march is for generating awareness about “the sanctity of river” and the need for its “unhindered flow”. The former minister has expressed her opposition to the hydro power projects either in pipeline or operating in the eco-sensitive Ganga zone.
If the party permits her, then in the upcoming weeks, she will chart out the whole route and other modalities with Ganga activists, she said.
Speaking at Chandighat river development front in Haridwar late Friday evening, she pointed out that during her ministerial tenure she had opposed clearances for hydro power projects on the river.
“I am against the revival of Lohari Nagpala hydro power project which was scrapped during UPA government led by then PM Manmohan Singh in 2010. Lal Krishan Advani had also played a pivotal mediator role along with some seers who were on protest,” said Bharti, who is also former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister.
Pressing for a Ganga Act, Bharti said the act was needed to retain the sanctity, purity and unhindered flow of the river as well as to deal with pollution, legal penalty provisions and hydro projects among the issues affecting the river.
Sep 21, 2019 20:38 IST