It was between 1950 and 1990, that large dams like Bhakhra, Pong, Chamera I and Pandoh were constructed in Himachal Pradesh, dislocating communities and traditional livelihood systems due to their huge reservoirs. Even though the focus of the State remained on enhancing horticulture, agriculture and tourism based livelihoods, the development thrust required generation of more power and irrigation facilities for the country. Read more
The Baddi, Barotiwala and Nalagarh (BBN) in Nalagarh tehsil of Solan District has witnessed rapid industrialization since 2003 when the BJP led government at the Centre announced an industrial subsidy package for the state. Since then an investment of over Rs 4260 crores, into over 3950 registered industrial units has happened. A large number of the units here are polluting in nature, like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, plastics, dying and boilers. Heavy extraction of ground water, ground water pollution, toxicity in air, fly ash and hazardous waste dumping have been the key problems that have arisen in a stretch of almost 35 kms with 21 Panchayats and 115 villages being affected. Read more
Because of its vast limestone deposits, the state of Himachal Pradesh has over the last 20years attracted several private players like Jaypee,ACC, Ambuja, CCI, Aditya-Birla and Lafarge. Limestone accounts for 75% of the value of mineral production in the state. The boom in the real estate market and infrastructure development after 2002 has motivated cement companies to tap the Northern region’s increasing demand for cement, thus accelerating limestone mining and cement manufacture in the state. Read more
Forest Rights Act in Himachal Pradesh
Hills and mountains by their very topography consist more of forests, grasslands, rocky or snowy landscapes than farmed areas. Animal rearing is one key activity to convert the wealth of vegetation into human-usable items like milk, hide, meat and wool. Collecting and using fuel wood, food like berries and mushrooms, medicinal plants, irrigation water and construction material from the landscape are survival techniques that make life possible in the mountains. As a result, the hill people are naturally dependent upon these ‘forest lands’ as much (or even more than) they are on farming for survival. Through forest settlement processes undertaken 150 to 60 years back, these uses of forest resources were recorded for each village and became the customary rights of its residents. Read more..