It’s a big victory for some 1,200 people of Lippa village in Kinnaur district in . After a seven-year struggle, the villagers have become the first grass-root people in the hill state to get empowered under Gram Sabha (village body of locals) to decide whether a hydel power project would be set up in their area or not.

The empowerment came when the rights of the villagers under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) were recognized following a judgment of National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 4 May.

But it was not an easy task for the villagers of Lippa, with 200 odd families, to challenge the Himachal Pradesh government and prevent setting up of hydel projects. But they did, as it was a matter of their livelihood and existence. The battle that began on ground as simple protest by tribals, gradually transformed into a litigation and reached the green tribunal in Delhi. Read More