Mainstream, Vol XLVI, No 19, Sunday 27 April 2008
The Uttarakhand government is acquiring land all over the State for building, expanding and renewing 98 hydropower projects. With this large-scale activity it seeks to make the State a major powerhouse. Most of these will be, what is called, run-of-the-river projects, generating power from the flow of rivers, without building dams on them. The tiny state will not need all this energy. It will be to promote market economy.
Waters of almost 90 rivers, big and small, including the Alaknanda, the Bhagirathi, the Yamuna and the Ganga, are being utilised for this purpose. Most of these rivers will be channelled into tunnels to create sharp drops capable of turning turbines to generate power.
For this purpose, land has been acquired to build barrages at sites where rivers will be diverted into tunnels, construct roads to lead to the barrages, colonies for workers and officials of power companies and power houses at places. The State Government has done and is doing the acquiring of land for these projects, which are both in the public and private sectors. [more]