There is unease in the corporate sector over a recent decision by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). After a seven-year struggle, a village in Himachal Pradesh, a northern state, has won the right to decide whether or not a hydel power project should be set up in its area. The empowerment came when rights of the villagers under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) were recognized following a judgment by the Tribunal on 4 May.
This column has highlighted the plight of farmers in Himachal Pradesh and the submergence of their pine nut trees due to construction of the hydel project . The NGT has directed the government to ensure that prior to forest clearance to the Kashang Integrated Hydroelectric Project, the proposal is placed before a gram sabha (comprising all adults above 18 years of age) of villages in Kinnaur district. Read more