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Kullu hydropower project attracts villagers ire

By Abdul Nisar

Kullu, Sep 7 (ANI): Residents of Malana village took out a rally in Kullu in protest against a hydropower project being set up by a private company.

The villagers have been demonstrating against the 100-megawatt Malana-II project, which is being constructed by the Everest Power Company Private Limited (EPPL) for the past ten days.

"Those who have undertaken this project had an agreement with us in principle that they will lay roads, construct dispensary and provide other amenities to the villagers. We even asked for streetlights. They have executed their project and not a single promise has been fulfilled," claimed Dile Ram, the village headman of Malana.

The protest took an ugly turn on Monday after police baton charged the villagers and injured around 10 persons.

The district authorities blamed the villagers for attacking the police.

"Some people who were part of the gathering, threw stones on the police personnel who were on duty and in that process the SHO and three to four other personnel got injured. To prevent it and for their self-defence the police also took action in which around eight to nine villagers got injured," said B M Nanata, the Deputy Commissioner of Kullu.

The villagers had staged similar protests last year too after which an agreement was arrived under which the company EPPL was supposed to construct roads, paths, irrigation channels, hospital, drinking water facility, provide free electricity and employment in compensation for the land acquired from the villagers. (ANI)

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