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PTI (2005.11.5): Dhauliganga project creates death-knell for Ailagarh

Dehradun, Nov. 5 (PTI): The 280 MW Dhauliganga hydel project in Uttaranchal has been commissioned this week but not before creating cracks in the earth of a village on a hilltop on whose foothills the dam is built.

A severe ‘slope instability’ problem had erupted after the dam authorities released water inside the 5.5 km-long underground shaft tunnel to test the turbine in June this year at the dam site situated in hilly Pithoragarh district.

Within minutes of the trial run, Ailagarh village, situated atop the Rs 1700 crore project, developed deep cracks creating panic in the area apparently due to excessive release of water through the shaft holes.

Due to excessive release of water, nearly 12 houses were damaged uprooting nearly 24 families. “The problem relating to Ailagarh village is still persisting with villagers having no clue about their future,” said A K Nautiyal, SDM, Dharchula, where the dam is situated.