Home CATEGORIES Agriculture & Rural Development PM Modi starts multiple projects worth Rs. 17,500 crores in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani

PM Modi starts multiple projects worth Rs. 17,500 crores in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani

Known as the ‘Gateway of Kumaon’, Haldwani is the third most populous city in Uttarakhand and serves as an important business centre. The city of Haldwani along with its twin township of Kathgodam forms the Haldwani-Kathgodam Municipal board in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The city is in the news because Prime Minister Narendra Modi was there, ahead of the assembly elections, to lay the foundation stones for 23 development projects that would cost a whopping Rs. 17,500 crores. This is Modi’s second visit to Uttarakhand this month. On his last visit on December 4, he had unveiled projects worth over Rs. 18,000 crore in Dehradun before addressing an election rally.
During his visit yesterday, he laid the foundation stones of Lakhwar Multipurpose Project, first conceived in 1976, AIIMS Rishikesh satellite centre at Udham Singh Nagar, Jagjivan Ram Government Medical College at Pithoragarh, an Aroma Park at Kashipur and Plastic Industrial Park at Sitarganj apart from launching multiple initiatives in housing, sanitation and drinking water supply across the state.

Controversy over Lakhwar dam

The Lakhwar Multipurpose Project is a 204-m concrete dam that is slated to come up in the upper Yamuna river basin near Lohari village in Uttarakhand. It is said to provide water for domestic, drinking and industrial use in the six basin states. Uttarakhand will also get the benefit of total power generation once the project is complete, said officials.
This project has been mired in controversy because it flouts environmental norms. For the hydro project, over 300,000 trees will be felled on 768 hectares of forestland. A stretch of over 30 km of the Aglar River – the only perennial (non-glacial origin) tributary of the Yamuna until the proposed project site – would become part of the reservoir and lose its character as a flowing river. The construction will have serious impacts on biodiversity upstream, an area rich in fish species especially the endangered mahseer. A report by an IIT consortium as a part of the broader strategy for developing the Ganga River Basin Environment Management Plan observed that the upper stretch of the Yamuna is significantly richer in biodiversity than the lower parts; 139 species belonging to 78 genus and 33 families have been reported from the Yamuna. The Binog Wildlife Sanctuary and Mussoorie Eco-sensitive Zone are just 3.1 km and 1.99 km away, respectively, from the project site.

Modi’s New Year gift for Haldwani

Modi also addressed a gathering in Haldwani, where he announced a ‘New Year gift’ for the people of the district. “We are bringing a scheme worth Rs. 2,000 crore for the development of the overall infrastructure of Haldwani, for water, sewage, road, parking, street lights,” he said at the rally. The Prime Minister also lauded the capabilities of the people of Uttarakhand and the projects he inaugurated, saying that these will make the coming 10 years the ‘decade of Uttarakhand’.