Coimbatore

Farmers oppose Sillahalla hydroelectric project in the Nilgiris

The Sillahalla Valley Farmers’ Association has called upon the government to stall all proceedings to approve the construction of the proposed Sillahalla Pumped Hydroelectric Storage Project (PHESP). The farmers want the project stopped on grounds that it will affect more than 2,000 acres of cultivable land.

In an appeal to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the association stated that the proposed dam will lead to the submergence of more than 2,000 acres of agricultural land and would render thousands of farmers landless.

“The main source of water for rivulet EluHalla, across which the proposed dam site is situated, is sewage from Ooty municipality and areas such as Lovedale, Muthorai palada and waste water from carrot washing machines around Muthorai Palada area.

The Sillahalla Hydro power project aims for storing water amid many villages such as Kanneri, Manthanai, Sri Ram Nagar, Thangadu, Oranalli, Manihatty, Meekeri, Balacola, Mudhugula, Bembatty, Thulithalai, Appukodu, Puthugatti, Kallakorai, Palada, Muthorai, Palada Hosatty, Mel Appukodu and Nunthala,” they said.

The farmers worry that keeping water stagnant in the reservoirs could lead to spread of infectious diseases among the villagers.

“Sewage should be let out freely at least 30 km so that it will be purified before reaching Pilloor Dam for irrigation and drinking water purposes.

Sophisticated underground generation machines can be installed in all existing dams in and around Kundha river so that electricity generation can be around 5000 MWs without taking up new dam project,” the association said.

They also feared that the construction of the dam could destroy forest cover and lead to more floods and landslips.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 7:45:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/farmers-oppose-sillahalla-hydroelectric-project-in-the-nilgiris/article32216078.ece

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