Pithoragarh, December 29
Dharchula MLA Harish Dhami has again threatened to launch a long agitation against his own party government in the state over the non-construction of link roads and incomplete development works in the backward villages situated on the border with China in his Assembly constituency. Strict laws applicable to the area due to the Askot Wildlife Sanctuary do not permit construction work in border villages of Dharchula.

On his return from a visit of backward villages, Dhami said, “If delimitation of the Askot Wildlife Sanctuary is not done, it will be an insult to the people living in the border area of Dharchula. The people in these villages are living a life of a refugee as they are deprived of facilities like roads and developmental works due to the sanctuary. This is pathetic as musk deer is found only in the area above 9,000 feet Himalayan peaks,” said Dhami. He was talking to mediapersons after trekking 17 km from Payya-Pauri to Kanar to inaugurate a local festival.
The Congress MLA said villages like Kanar, Metli, Bhatbhata and Teejam were still backward as they neither had schools nor pucca roads. “Students from villages in the Payyapauri area have to travel 30 km to reach school, as the road constructed 30 years ago is not fit for traffic. The widening of the road could not be done due to the sanctuary laws,” he said.
“The local people have voted for me on the condition that I will ensure development of backward areas. But due to laws applicable to the sanctuary area, development has become a casualty. Though I am a Congress MLA, I’m not in a position to fulfil the assurances given to the people due to the sanctuary laws applicable to the villages as well,” said Dhami.
The Congress MLA said it seemed that agitation was the only way to highlight difficulties and issues of the people living in this strategically vital border area with China. The people in the border area are facing difficulties due to the sanctuary, which is promoting migration. “If the government does not take steps to reduce the sanctuary limits, I will launch an agitation to assert the rights of these backward villages,” added Dhami. 

See More