Himachal farmers protest against hydropower dam project

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Karcham (Himachal Pradesh), Jan 20 (ANI): Farmers in Himachal Pradesh took to streets to protest against the construction of a hydropower dam.

The 1000-megawatt Karcham-Wangto project in the district is being built by the Jaypee Group.

Farmers are opposing it because they say the pollution is damaging their crops.

"The pollution that has come about because of these machines has made the plants unsuitable for our livestock to graze on. The dust that settles on the apples we grow means that they cannot pollinate and now up to 80 to 90 percent of our crops are damaged," said Jitender Negi, President, Tribal Farmers Committee.

The construction is also stirring controversy because some residents have claimed it is violating their religious rights.

"In this area, two rivers used to meet and that's where our dead used to be purified for cremation. This is where the dam is being built. The cremation centre has been shifted to a point higher in the hills but that's not where it should be done. The company has taken over this area," said Vidya Nand, a farmer.

They said they will protest for a week and if their demands aren't met, they will take the issue to the government of Himachal Pradesh. (ANI)

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