Business Standard

Joshimath crisis: Sushma Swaraj opposed dams on Ganga to 'save' Uttarakhand

Disasters are occurring in Uttarakhand as the Ganga river is being confined in tunnels, she had said

sushma swaraj

Sushma Swaraj

Press Trust of India Dehradun
With Joshimath reeling under severe crisis after hundreds of buildings developed cracks due to shifting soil, an old video of late BJP leader Sushma Swaraj has surfaced where she warns of an imminent threat to Uttarakhand from dams being built on the Ganga river.
In the video being widely shared on social media and flashed on news channels, Swaraj is seen saying in Parliament that the dams being built on the Ganga and its tributaries will have to be scrapped to save Uttarakhand in the wake of the 2013 Kedarnath disaster.
This assumes significance as questions are being raised on the role of NTPC's Tapovan-Vishnugad hydel project in the land subsidence crisis in Joshimath.
Swaraj was addressing the Lok Sabha as the then Leader of Opposition.
Disasters are occurring in Uttarakhand as the Ganga river is being confined in tunnels, she had said.
"Whatever amount of money may have been spent over them (dams), it will be less than the amount that will have to be spent over relief and rehabilitation of the displaced," she had said in 2013.
Swaraj also says in her address, "It is not just a coincidence, I want to tell the House that on 16 June 2013, the Dhari Devi temple was submerged, the same day there was a deluge in Kedarnath and everything was destroyed."

NTPC's 520-MW Tapovan-Vishnugad hydroelectric project is under construction on Dhauliganga, a tributary of river Ganga, in the area adjacent to Joshimath and the local people are holding the project responsible for the land subsidence.
Swaraj's video was also shared by former Union minister and senior BJP leader Uma Bharti on her Twitter handle.
Bharti whose attachment to Uttarakhand is well known has also been against the construction of dams on the Bhagirathi river.
The number of houses that have developed cracks in Joshimath has now risen to 826, of which 165 are in the "unsafe zone", a bulletin from the Disaster Management Authority said on Sunday. So far 233 families have been shifted to temporary relief centres, it added.
In June 2013, flash floods had hit the Kedarnath Valley, killing over 4,000 people.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jan 15 2023 | 8:33 PM IST

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