Subject: A memorandum/e-petition submitted to Prime Minister of India and Mrs Jyanati Natrajan Minister of Environment and Forest (MOEF) Against Proposed 400 MW Shely Hydel Project by Moser Bear Private Company limited.
That the Moser Bear Seli Hydro Electric Project is proposed to be built at near village Madgram on Chinab River at an altitude of 2743 meters above sea level in Lahoul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The proposed height of dam is 187 meter comprises of a concrete gravity dam above river bed and the estimated submergence area spreads in an area of 8 km. The dam is going to submerge agriculture and forest land of many villages settled along the river Chinab .The dam will cause adverse impact on the life and livelihoods of all the villagers.
That this area is very much sensitive and dangerous in winter because more than 200 Hundred small or big Glacier and avalanches zone .It can be a big disaster for residents living nearby villages. Few year ago two dozen spacious glaciers between Thirot and madgram region of Lahaul had blocked the flow of Chenab (Chandra-Bhaga in Lahaul) river and waters of entire river had been frozen. And suddenly after breaking of glacier there was unprecedented flood in Chinab river where many big bridges including Trilokinath,Tindi bridge and thousand of people affected by this for many months..If height of Dam is not decreased than Three villages (Koraki,Ratoli,Salpat ) will be in eminent danger zone,the dam would submerge their cultivable fields, houses and dry up summer water springs.
Moreover, the area falls on an ecologically and geologically sensitive area of the
Himalayan cold desert belt and in highly seismic zone. Building reservoir of this size could trigger earthquakes that will prove detrimental to the integrity of dam structure.
The land that is going to be submerged has been supporting the livelihoods of more than ten villages. This project is going to submerge agricultural land, grazing areas, forest cover and cause immense damage to the rich alpine biodiversity which is unique to this area.
Besides, this area is geographically similar to Ladakh region and is already facing facing repercussions of climate change. As has recently been seen in Ladakh region where sudden cloudburst caused major disaster. In a similar situation this massive 200 meters high storage structure in this fragile area can bring havoc to downstream areas.
The proposed diversion tunnel of several kilometer long to take water from dam to the power station will disturb natural over and underground watercourses from where several villagers downstream draw essential water for irrigation and drinking. It has been observed in Kinnour and Kullu that similar tunneling process dried up water sources essential for sustaining their livelihoods.
Further, the dam site falls in one of the tribal belts of HP. Therefore,under the PESA Act, 1996 and Forest Right Act, 2006 the choice of development options rests with the community.
The Dam site also borders China and Pakistan thereby it is strategically very sensitive. Displacing inhabitants from such strategic areas would invite uncalled security threat.
That it is pertinent to mentioned here that the Chinab river whose water usage is governed under Indus Waters Treaty, 1960 with Pakistan. By building this dam would create unnecessary conflict with Pakistan on water sharing issues. In past also Pakistan raised many objections before United Nation and World Bank, where Govt of India is signatory of Indus Water Treaty. That a breakdown of the treaty could lead to widespread famine, and further inflame the ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan.
Furthermore, the Shukla Committee constituted by HP High Court on Hydro projects has recommended that hydro projects coming up above 7000ft (above treeline) should not be built. Therefore, the Sheli dam which is proposed to be built at an altitude of 2743 meters in an ecologically and geologically fragile zone goes against the committee’s recommendations.
Finally, displacement of villagers because of submerging there fertile agriculture land, grazing grounds, Village common land which will have negative fallouts on unique socio-cultural fabric that enabled this community to thrive under harsh geographical conditions.
That dam area is having thick forest trees of Devdor, adult deodar (Cedrus deodara ) Diar and hundered other small and medium trees and shrubs .That Thousand of Juniper polycarpos (Himalayan Pencil Cedar ) trees, it is locally known as ‘SHUR’ is an important endangered conifer tree species found in inner arid areas of western Himalayas .socio economic and ecological point of view Juniper is considered as an important tree species and regarded as sacred tree.
The natural as well as artificial regeneration in Juniper is quite low due to phenomenon of seed dormancy .Till date no success has been achieved in overcoming seed dormancy in this valuable indangered conifer species.it is pertinent to mentioned here that because of this proposed dam (hydel project) more than ten thousand (10,000) small and big green tree will have to be sacrificed to set up dam for Shely Moser bear project. This ll be Ecological Degradation Due to Exploitation of Natural Resources and Development and threatening the fragile environment of the tribal district.
That this project area is home of many wild Life species including Brown Bear, Black Bear,Snow Leopard,Musk Dear,Himalayan Ibex, Argali- Wild Mountain Sheep,Himalayan Yellow-throated marten,Flying squirrels..& many more Bird species.Specially MONAL, In Lahoul which can only found in this area & surrounding.That there is chance of these wild animals may extinct permanently
This Hydel Project will wipe out rare species. The agony of the present-day world is the offshoot of an illogical and indiscriminate spoliation of the sources of the earth and nature by man for his meaningless material development that is leading him fast towards destruction.
In light of above mentioned facts, we request concerned agencies to abandon the project looking at its huge environmental and socio-economic fallouts at the earliest.
President President President
Mahila Mandal Koraki Mahila Mandal Salpat Mahila Mandal namu
President President President
Mahila Mandal Ratoli Yuva Mandal Ratoli Mahila mandal Charu
President President President
Yuva Mandal Charu yuva mandal Aahat Mahila Mandal Aahat