Read Shruti Jain’s commentary published in India’s Economic & Political Weekly, ‘Repudiating Chipko Village’s Identity and Existence’.
Jain is a postdoctoral fellow with the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, working on FutureDAMS.
In her article she comments on a judgement in the High Court of Uttarakhand, dismissing the petition of villagers of Reini, known for the Chipko movement.
The villagers has approahed the court seeking protection of their lives and ecology but the court penalised them for the “abuse of PIL jurisdiction”.
Will the vulnerable riverine communities affected by the violation of rights of the river ever be able to speak for it and themselves and seek justice for both?
That Reini as a famed Chipko village met with such treatment at the hands of the state authorities, project proponents and judiciary makes its situation that much more tragic. Such a situation, however, is shared by hundreds of villages in Uttarakhand that need rehabilitation, especially in the Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, and Sharda basins, ravaged by disasters and colonised by hydropower projects. Reini and many other such villages that have become uninhabitable or unsafe for living due to the destructive practices of the hydropower companies, show that even though these projects are not causing direct displacement, they ultimately generate conditions for people to leave their homes.
You may be interested to read other articles from FutureDAMS researchers, focusing on Uttarakhand:
- ‘Construction of Calamities in the Uttarakhand Himalaya’ by Shruti Jain
- ‘Prepare to fail? Dam development in the face of rising disasters’ by Udisha Saklani
Please note the research is the responsibility of the reseachers and does not reflect the views of the FutureDAMS consortium.
Image by Chetan Karkhanis – Peaks of the Himalayas visible on the way to Gangotri in Uttarakhand. Via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)