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BJP seeks PM`s intervention to save Dhari Devi shrine

BJP leaders sought PM`s intervention in saving Dhari Devi shrine in Uttarakhand which is facing threat of submergence in the Srinagar Dam in Garhwal.



New Delhi: Top BJP leaders on Saturday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s intervention in saving the ancient Dhari Devi shrine in Uttarakhand which is facing threat of submergence in the Srinagar Dam in Garhwal.

The party also demanded that Uttarakhand be given 2000 MW of free power from the Centre to cater to its needs as many hydel projects cannot be built on river Ganges, which is viewed as a national heritage.

The BJP delegation led by party`s Parliamentary Board Chairman LK Advani and party President Nitin Gadkari, and Leaders of Opposition in both Houses Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, besides Uma Bharti, B C Khanduri, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari and Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank met Prime Minister Singh at his residence today.

As part of its `Save Ganga Campaign`, the party has been seeking review of hydropower projects especially in eco- sensitive Himalayan region and enactment of a law in Parliament declaring Ganga as national heritage.

"We raised various issues pertaining to the Save Ganga Campaign before the Prime Minister, including saving of the ancient Dhari Devi shrine. He has assured us that Dhari Devi shrine will be protected and not be allowed to be submerged. The Srinagar Dam will also be made and Dhari Devi will also be saved," Uttarakhand`s former Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank told reporters.

He said the Prime Minister has asked Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan to look into the matter and get a fresh detailed project report (DPR) prepared so that the Dhari Devi shrine, which has a lot of belief among locals, is saved.

Pokhriyal claimed that in the earlier DPR on the dam, the Dhari Devi shrine was not being submerged but it will get submerged in the dam as per the new report.

He noted that the shrine was visited by all devotees visiting Badrinath, Kedarnath and Hemkunth.

With regard to the power demands of the state, Pokhriyal said even though 27,000 MW of power projects were to be implemented in the state only 3,500 MW power is being produced, leaving a shortfall.

BJP has asked the Prime Minister to provide 2,000 MW power free of cost to Uttarakhand for meeting the electricity needs of the state`s villages and industry. "This demand was raised at the meeting of the Ganga Basin Authority Board," he said.

The BJP leadership has also demanded maintaining river Ganga as an international heritage site, as it is not just a national heritage now.

BJP leader Uma Bharti had in May last year held a fast at Chandighat area demanding review of hydropower projects especially in eco-sensitive Himalayan region, besides enactment of a law in Parliament declaring Ganga as national heritage.

She had also demanded withdrawal of proposal of shifting of ancient Dhari Devi temple at Srinagar Garhwal due to construction of 330 Mw Alaknanda project.

PTI

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