Lanco Infratech Limited which was building Vyong phata hydro power project (76 MW) in Vyong village of Rudraprayag district has closed down the project for incurring losses, especially after a large part of its barrage got washed away in 2013 deluge. Villagers who had been opposing this project and another Singoli Bhatwadi (99MW) in the vicinity since 2001 and were jailed for protest resent the damage done by the project so far to the environment as well as to their houses and fields. Their hopes to recover damage too dashed as the company has declared itself bankrupt.
Himanshu Awasthi, general manager of Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam said, “Lanco which mainly deal with thermal energy projects handled hydro-power projects in Uttarakhand but they ran into losses so much so that they are unable to pay their loans. This is the reason that they have declared themselves bankrupt and are closing down their projects in the state.”
Mangesh Ghildiyal, district magistrate of Rudraprayag said that the company paid compensation to some of the villagers for damage to their property due to blasting of mountains to build tunnels for the project in the past but is unable to do so anymore now on account of being bankrupt.
Archana Bahuguna, resident of village Khumera said, “Many villages including mine bore the brunt of construction of Vyong Phata project. Due to tunneling in the mountain, where my village is situated, , our water source got diverted. Now people have to travel long distance to fetch water. Our houses have developed cracks, while four have totally collapsed.”