Turf Wars Revisited
When the Great Himalayan National Park was notified in 1999, villagers in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh in northern India lost their customary rights to graze animals and collect medicinal herbs from the area, posing a grave threat to their livelihood practices. A 10 km tract of National Park territory- prime wildlife habitat- was, however, de-notified to allow for construction of the Parvati Hydro-Electric Project. Contradictions were apparent in the Government's policies - that livelihoods could be compromised in the interests of conservation, but the latter had to bow down before the pressures of development.
'Turf Wars Revisited' takes a second look at the interplay of this dynamic - how has conservation policy, in tandem with the law, worked towards the protection of biodiversity in the Great Himalayan National Park over the last five years? Can such a system really work in the long-term, when it excludes local participation and is in conflict with local livelihood concerns? How have alternative livelihood issues been addressed? And as hydel-power becomes the new swan song of the State, what are its social and ecological implications?