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Consultations with stakeholders for major projects a must

More than 60 environmental and social organisations in the country have demanded a complete ban on all mega infrastructure projects in the Himalayas in the run-up to Lok Sabha polls. The projects include railways, dams, hydro projects, and four-lane highways in the Himalayas. They demanded that referendums and public consultations should be made compulsory for all development projects.

The organisations, jointly leading the ‘People for Himalaya’ campaign, issued a five-point charter of demands for all political parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls during an online press conference. While some might see this as a political demand, the issue is genuine and deserves attention from all the political parties.

The reckless construction of highways, railways, and hydropower projects threatens to cause catastrophe in the Himalayan region. Large-scale mega dams are a big threat to the ecology of the region. The government’s move to carry out such massive development projects without consulting the local population is not good.

Here in Arunachal Pradesh too, even though locals strongly resist the construction of dams, the government is still trying to forcibly construct and take up these projects. There should be proper consultations with the people before undertaking any major projects in the Himalayan region. The experts and local affected people should be duly consulted.

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