Sharing a news item on a new film on the dangers of dam tunnels in Uttarakhand
Darkness is the only end of Dam Tunnels
“Black Spot” – A film made on the impacts of Vishugaad – Peepalkoti tunnels on Alaknanda River released
“We have been ignored and treated merely as characters to laugh at. The tunnel is being built beneath our houses. How much damage it will do, nobody knows. The compensation for previous damages have not been made yet. If we protest then we will have to face the court cases. The Court has made restrictions on people’s visiting the Dams working sites. Now what to do?”, says Ramlal, a residence of Durgapur Village. Durgapur village is the part of Village Panchayat where dalit families reside. The THDC, Dam Construction Company, is building/ constructing tunnels for Vishnugaad – Peepalkoti Hydro Power Project Power House. Cracks have appeared on the walls of houses present above the tunnels due to high intensity blasts happened during the construction of tunnels, the future has become uncertain.
The condition of the Harsari hamlet of Haat Village is also the same. The other project affected villages are also facing the same threat and uncertainties. What is the guarantee that everything will be secure once the projects will be completed? The tunnel of Vishnuprayag dam has already brought disaster in Chai –Thai Village after years where NEPI Company had denied claims of any losses.
There has been no evaluation done of the impacts of these tunnel in World Bank fostered projects. This is how expenditure on rehabilitation and other issues is ignored. ‘We get the threats of arrest if we resist and protest for our rights. Are the Ganga dam affected region not in India?’, questioned Rajendra Hatwal.
Narendra Pokhariyal have been struggling since years for security of his Village and constant flow of the River Ganga but got only false promises and increased confusion. World Bank and State government is responsible for not giving the right solutions of the issues. The film “Black Spot” made by Media Collective tried to cover all these aspects. This Hindi film with subtitles in English is made by Hagen Desa.
This film reveals the reality of tunnel projects through the issues prevailing in Vishnugaad – Peepalkoti Dam affected area. When there is planning to bind Ganga – Yamuna – Kali – Saryu and all their tributaries in tunnels, then this film reveals the grim realities and likely impacts in front of development planners, government agencies and financial institutions like World bank, we expect that they will learn a lot from this and bring subsequent changes in their attitude taking people’s and environmental issues on higher priorities.
This film has been released by the villagers in Gopeshwar headquarter of Chamoli district.