By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 30 Nov: Leading social activist and chairman of RLEK, Avdhash Kaushal has emphasised that all weather roads in Uttarakhand were must for India’s national security. In a statement issued today, Kaushal reminded that India’s neighbouring countries like China, Nepal were constructing metal roads on the border of India. These countries were also constructing Mega Hydro projects dam for electricity generation, thus requiring safety counter measures by India. Kaushal lamented the fact that unfortunately, some of the Pseudo-environmentalists who had not planted a single tree in Uttarakhand or anywhere in their lives were opposing construction of the All-weather roads as well as constructing the hydro projects in Uttarakhand. Kaushal said that wide roads were required so that the heavy Army equipment could be transported to the borders at the time of need on an urgent basis. He claimed that the construction of wide and safer all weather roads would also attract tourism and reduce accidents in the hills as narrow and disaster vulnerable roads caused lot of accidents and casualties in the hills every year. Kaushal sought to counter the claim that construction of roads caused landslides and stressed that even in places where there was no road construction, landslides hindering the road movement like Mussoorie, Yamunotri, and Gangotri roads were happening on a regular basis and that these areas were not the places where road widening was being carried out. He added that the North India was suffering energy crisis at a time when Uttarakhand alone had the potential of generating 40,000MW of power from hydro project alone. Presently, Uttarakhand was buying power from open market worth more than Rs 1,500 crore per year which was also not suffice to meet its demand. It was ironic that he state which had huge potential for hydropower was forced to source power from other states to meet the power deficit. Kaushal claimed that the dams were the backbone of any civilization as they played a crucial role in water conservation for irrigation, municipal supplies and industries, generating power, flood control, recreation navigation, river rafting, fish production, road bridges besides providing employment to the people says Avdhash Kaushal. Kaushal claimed that the ruling party was diverting attention by stalling hydropower projects in the name of Nirmal Ganga. Also, production of hydro-electricity did not consume one single drop of water which was circulated back to the mainstream river. Water was absorbed by the agriculture. River Ganga originating from Gaumukh in Uttarakhand did not irrigate even a single field from Gaumukh to Haridwar because it ran very deep. He added that Uttarakhand was close to China border and therefore it required all- weather roads with minimum15 metre width needed for defence purpose. So that the army and tanks could reach up to China border at the time of need. It was sad that some of the so called environmentalists were opposed to construction of roads in the hills and they cited unscientificgrounds for that. This all -weather road would also decrease the accidents in the hills and save hundreds of people every year.