Khanduri hints at alternative to Bhagirathi dispute

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Dehra Dun, June 18 (UNI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri today hinted at the need for an alternative solution to the construction of hydel projects on the Bhagirathi river saying electricity production was crucial but not at the cost of endangering the Ganga.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Khanduri said he was ready to listen to an alternative solution for producing electricity in the state, but without hurting the religious sentiments of the Hindu masses.

He also appealed to Prof G D Agarwal to call off his fast unto death, which has entered its sixth day.

The Chief Minister had on Monday said he was ready to stop the construction of hydel projects provided the Centre fulfilled the state's electricity needs. His two emissaries informed Prof Agarwal that the state government had decided to stop the construction of four hydel projects and open the gates of the Pala Maneri phase 1 and 2 projects.

The 76-year-old veteran enviromentalist had entered his fast on Ganga Dusherra to convince the state government to accept his only demand that the Bhagirathi be allowed to flow uninterrupted from Uttarakashi to Gangotri in its original form.

UNI PB PK VC1626

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