HCC comes with miseries to people in Bandipora Kashmir
By Suhab Quershi
Hindustan Construction Company-HCC- executing 330 Megawatt Kishen Ganga Hydro Electric Power Project has made life hell for the people residing in the dozens of villages here in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district, some 59 Kilometers from the summer capital Srinagar of Jammu and Kashmir state. From destruction of roads, buildings and drains to recession of water resources, HCC has trained the whole area messy due its uncouth constructional operations, locals rued.
Hindustan Construction Company-HCC- leading construction company of India from the very beginning earns bad name due to its mismanagement and officer’s ill attitude towards the people in the area, which has led t the fury among the people who are protesting day in and out against the management.
Locals said that instead thinking about the betterment of surrounding community, officer in management who has individually adopted ruffians are using every method to amass the wealth in the name of HCC.
Officers in HCC are practicing divide and rule policy in the area, they are ruling everybody, whenever they failed at some point they come to the unethical ways of bribery and corruption, said locals.
Demanding stern action against the HCC officers here in Bandipora,Peple are in the area are lodging protest against the HCC Management and have appealed company Head Ajit Gulab Chand to act against the corrupt and baddie officers who are looting the company besides earning notoriety for the company.
Not even once were the people of these villages told that their water sources, irrigation channels, forests, houses, graveyards, bathing ghats, etc, would be affected by the project. They were not given copies of the Environmental Impact Study of the project. “The decision has come too late. Why was the environment impact assessment not taken seriously and where do we go from here after losing everything?” asked villagers.
The villages like Boknoot, Mantrigam, Dharmaham, Guzarbal, Kralpora, Chandaji, Pazalpora, Khyar, Sonarwani, Kaloosa and other adjoining villages have been badly affected by the blasting carried out for constructing the tunnel. Two main water resources Nallha Bonar and Madhumati that were the mainstay of the whole township and adjoin villages have been destroyed due to the blasting and draining of polluted chemical water into it.
“There was no public hearing of the project before it was started and as a consequence the uninformed villagers were literally in for a shock when the dynamite blasting for the tunnel construction began. The agricultural land that yielded precious cash crops and the pastures that sustained their cattle have already been acquired for the project,” said villagers.
Even the agricultural land of villages has been affected by the chemicals that were used while undertaking tests. “Our crops have been affected by the dust that accumulated during the project construction activities. Even our crops such as rice, rajma, wheat, potato, maize are wilting,” said Kralpora villagers said.
HCC LED TO EXTINCTION FO WATER RESOURCES
The water springs at Chandaji and Kralpora are receding due to the growing pollution created by the uncouth construction operations of HCC workers. There is fear among people that the blasting may cause the natural and other water resources to recede into the earth and thereby affect local population.
Locals told that the blasting for the tunnel had caused the water source that powered the watermills and used to supply drinking water are near to extermination. The village had its sole natural water source at a place called Bonar Nallah which is no not worth of use.
At Darmahama, the natural water source Wular Kol of the village has been affected by the HCC mismanagement and the water at this source is slowly drying up.
Locals in this village told the HCC management tried to bribe the elders in the village when they failed they stopped polluting water for sometime but during night hours they were draining the chemically poisonous water into this stream
Besides HCC have laid 33000 KV high tension transmissions line has been laid right above the villages and this may be a source of danger to the village in the future, they further said that the bathing ghats of the villages are being used as an open-air toilet by the labourers working at the project site.
The blasting for the tunnel has reduced the water levels at these water sources. The blasting has reduced the water levels so much that villager in the area have now no option other than to lodge protest against the lack of water.
“What is the need of project when we are loosing our basic amenities? It is due to the mismanagement and corruption in HCC office that people are facing hardships” locals said.
HCC DISTURBS SOCAIL STRATA
People complaining of disturbance in social strata in the area due to the presence of hundreds of HCC labourers, who were hired for the project from outside the area and are living in and around the village and its forests.
“we are feeling negative social impact as the workers’ are drinking in open and have been several times found assaulting women and young females in the area, even the officers in the HCC office are drinking in open” locals said.
Recently one of the officers was caught while baptizing the children Mantrigam village after which the people staged protest against the HCC management.
HCC has affected the social security of the villages. “The women are scared to venture into the fields and thefts have started taking place which were unheard of earlier,” villagers.
PEOPLE ALLAGE ILLEGAL OFFICAL HEGEMONY
Alleging illegal official hegemony in the HCC office here in Bandipora, villager in the area told that HCC officers have adopted dozens of ruffians, who are being paid to harass the people, whenever they (people) demand their rights of community development.
Appealing company head Ajit Gulab Chand to act against the illegal officer hegemony in the Bandipora office, locals said that all the officers working in the Bandipora office should be made accountable for their performance and their attitude towards eth public.
“We are appealing HCC head Ajit Gulab Chand to act against the corrupt officers who have earned notoriety for the HCC and their misdeeds and ill attitude”said Locals
“Officers are feeding ruffians in the company office, instead building relation within the community, it is due to mismanagement that water resources and other allied destruction has brought miseries to the people” they said.