The Renuka Dam Project proposed over the river Giri Ganga (a tributary of the Yamuna) located some 300km away from Delhi, is a joint project of the governments of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Delhi, to be constructed by the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation Limited (HPPCL) in Sirmaur district of HP. While HP hopes to generate 40MW of power from this project, Delhi hopes to meet 1250 MLD of its total 3500 MLD requirement from this project.
While Delhi stands to benefit from the project, Renuka Valley is to suffer a high social and environmental cost. 550 families in 17 panchayats will be displaced and 1630 hectares of land, including 49 hectares of Reserve Sanctuary will be submerged. Most of the affected are farmers, who point to the many crops they grow and from which they make a decent living, exposing the false claims of government officials who claim this is a barren and desolate area. Despite local opposition, the project has been granted environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and forcible land acquisition by the HPPCL is underway.
All this, while Delhi continues to waste water at the rate of 1300 MLD (40% of the total 3500 MLD supplied to city never reaches its people) and make its own rivers, ponds and lakes disappear, to meet its greedy urban expansion plans. Delhi, in fact does not suffer from shortage of water but from unequal distribution, with sarkari areas of Delhi getting supply of 300 LPCD, 10 times the amount of water received in other areas like Mehrauli. And already, Delhi sources water from the Bhakra Nangal Project, Tehri Dam Project and directly from the rivers Yamuna and Ganga, and Renukaji is its next but certainly not last stop.
While the government justifies the dam in the ‘national interest’, the video attempts to brings out the perspective of citizens of Delhi and Renuka Valley, and leaves one wondering just how Delhi is in the national interest and Renuka valley is not.
To support or follow this movement, contact members of the Ma Renukaji Sangarsh Samiti: Puranchand Sharma at +91-9318879228 or Manshi Asher at +91-9816345198, or email Manshi at firstname.lastname@example.org.