Protest Across Uttarakhand against Govt. Apathy towards Joshimath tragedy

On 19 January, statewide protest demonstrations were held across Uttarakhand on the call of CPIML in solidarity with the struggling people of Joshimath. Addressing the protest in Haldwani, CPIML State Secretary Raja Bahuguna said, 'Uttarakhand's historic Joshimath Nagar is undergoing an unprecedented crisis. First the state government ignored the crisis and now it's trying to hide the truth by banning information like the recent ISRO data on land subsidence rate. The governments, both central and state, seem to be interested in sidelining the issue and are clearly not serious about the issue of rehabilitation of people of Joshimath. The crisis in Joshimath is the result of unplanned development pushed by the government. The government must be held responsible for the crisis."

CPIML has sent a memorandum to the government with the following demands:

  1. The Central Government should immediately start the process of relief and rehabilitation for the people of Joshimath.

  2. The tunnelling process of the NTPC Tapovan-Vishnugad project is responsible for the crisis. This project should be immediately stopped. NTPC should be fined twice the cost of the project for jeopardizing the existence of Joshimath. This amount of about 20,000 crores should be distributed among the affected people of Joshimath.

  3. The central government should set up a high-level high-powered committee for the time-bound construction of a new Joshimath town.  The process should involve members of Joshimath Bachao Sangharsh Samiti and local public representatives. .

  4. Till date, the people of Joshimath have not received compensation for the lands acquired by the Defence Ministry for the Army in 1962. Now even those lands are in trouble. The government must also settle pending compensations for those lands at the current market rate before any displacemen.

  5. The lands on which the people of Joshimath have been cultivating for years, those lands should be registered in thse people's names so that in case of its erosion, people can get land or value in lieu of it.

  6.  Massive dams like Pancheshwar should not be built in the Himalayan region.

  7. A new action plan should be prepared  for pro-people development taking into account the sensitive nature of Central Himalaya.

  8. The work of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction should be done under the National Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Policy 2007.