Talk Abstract: Uttarakhand in the recent past has been in news due to repeated disasters. The talk will be about how construction activities related to the various infrastructural projects have led to generation and intensification of calamities like that of 2013 and 2021 floods. Hydropower projects on the Uttarakhand rivers have proven to aggravate the severity of floods, making them calamitous. In addition, these projects have also increased the vulnerability of the mountain villagers towards disasters, while giving these an unsettling everydayness and a spiralling effect. The talk will relate how the project companies continue to evade accountability and responsibility for such disasters, including that of Reini village of Chipko fame, among many other villages, becoming uninhabitable. The Reini villagers have been denied rehabilitation. Their attempts of seeking justice have not only been dismissed by the High Court, but termed as an abuse of PIL jurisdiction. Many mountain dwellers are thus being forced to leave behind their homes.
Bio: Shruti Jain is a postdoctoral fellow with the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. This position is part of the FutureDAMS consortium, an initiative led by the University of Manchester and the International Institute for Environment and Development, London. She has previously worked as an Assistant Editor with the Economic & Political Weekly, and as an Assistant Professor with the Centre for Development Practice and Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences.