Tribals demand scrapping of proposed dam
TRIBALS from 23 villages in Udaipur district, citing the potential displacement of 12,000 people, are gearing up for protracted battle with the government to scrap the proposed Manasi Wakal dam, intended to supply drinking water to Udaipur.
The villagers allege the project, in fact, was conceived to meet the massive water requirements of the Hindustan Zinc Ltd plant in the city. At a meeting held recently under the banner of the Chandreshwar Kisan Sangharsha Samiti (CKSS), the villagers vowed they would not allow any dam construction activity. The irate villagers recently forced the contractors, Hindustan Zinc Ltd, to remove their construction machinery from the dam site.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Delhi environmentalist Arun Kumar challenges the government's contention that the project will flood only 384. According to Kumar's survey, 5,326 ha, including 65 ha in the Falasia-Ogna forest, will be submerged. Kumar also warns that the dam is to be located in the Aravalli range, one of the country's 11 earthquake-prone areas.