Why We Already Know the Rishi Ganga Flood Was a ‘Sooner or Later’ Event -CP Rajendran
There should be no doubt that the Chamoli disaster is a sign of our misguided developmental priorities and proves our inability to sustainably develop ecologically sensitive zones.
In 2019, a petitioner from a village named Reni, in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, had filed a public interest petition at the Uttarakhand high court. Kundan Singh’s charge was that the Rishi Ganga Power Project, set up near the village in 2005, was resorting to environmentally unsound practices that endangered a river, the wildlife in the area and the rights of Reni’s residents to preserve and access their cultural heritage.
Reni was one of the principal sites of the iconic Chipko Movement in the 1970s.
The Uttarakhand high court issued notices to the Centre and the state government and asked them to reply within three weeks to the petition.
The causal link between cigarette smoking and the risk of lung cancer wasn’t apparent for a while, before becoming unavoidably apparent. Similarly, the cause-effect relationship between the scale of hydrological disasters and energy projects may not have been obvious at the time. But today, the apprehensions of Reni’s residents have been borne out in a still-unfolding disaster whose magnitude may forever be tied to the perils of global warming and reckless civil engineering.
On the morning of February 7, a devastating flood swept through the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Telling camera shots show a massive burst of water rushing violently through a narrow river valley, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
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TheWire.in, 8 February, 2021, https://thewire.in/environment/uttarakhand-rishi-ganga-power-project-flood