Bhagirathi plan row: U’khand CM Rawat to observe symbolic hunger strike

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India], Jan. 1 : Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Sunday said that he would observe a symbolic hunger strike against the Centre on January 5 for opposing the Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone plan.

"The way the Central Government rejected the master plan. It has opposed the Uttarakhand Government's Bhagirathi zone plan. It is very much bad for the development of the state. So, it is very much necessary to divert the Centre's attention towards it. So, I have decided to observe a symbolic hunger strike on January 5 in Delhi," Rawat told ANI. Despite being dubbed "destructive" for water resources by the Union Ministry, the Uttarakhand Government has stuck to its zonal master plan of the Bhagirathi eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) that proposes to open up the fragile area for hydropower projects above 2 MW, mining, and roads.

The last pristine stretch of Ganga flows through this ESZ. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) which is hearing a petition pleading for speedy implementation of the ESZ and adequate compensation to those affected by the 2013 floods had recently directed Shashi Shekhar, secretary, Ministry Of Water Resources to hold a meeting.

Uttarakhand demanded allowing hydro power projects (up to 25 MW), riverbed mining, and construction of roads among others which are all restricted by the ESZ notification.

Source: ANI