Himachal’s pine nuts be dammed
A slew of dams coming up on the Sutlej river may submerge pine-nut farmers' only source of livelihood in Kinnaur
Remember those boxes of dry fruits that surface during Diwali? And in them that crunchy, slender, innocuous dry fruit known as the chilgoza or pine nut? Ever wondered where they come from? This week, I happened to meet Devi Gyan Negi, a farmer who harvests those delicious pine nuts from the trees that grow close to his home in the hills of Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. Negi has petitioned the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in Delhi, urging it to stop a slew of dams coming up on the Sutlej river, which will submerge his only source of livelihood. For this, every other week, he undertakes an arduous journey from his village that is at 10,000 ft up in the Himalayas down to the dusty plains of Delhi in the hope of redressal.