Loharinag Pala Hydro Power Project is a run-of-the-river hydroelectricity generating project planned by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Ltd to have an output capacity of 600 MW.
The main project construction contracts were awarded and construction started in 2006, however, work was stopped in 2009 after Professor G. D. Agrawal, one of Indias eminent scientists, came close to dying on the 38th day of his fast in protest of the blocking the headwaters of the sacred River Ganges. The project was officially scrapped in 2010. (1) Before that, after repeated refusal of the government to scrap the project, a group of activists — including local villagers, lawyers, NGOs, Hindu religious leaders and a member of the National Ganga River Basin Authority — started plotting out a protest campaign to stop Loharinag Pala hydel project. The protesters planned an indefinite hunger strike in Haridwar.The main argument was that the project will affect the flow of the Bhagirathi, which is a tributary of the Ganga, and that the project promoter NTPC violated environmental guidelines. They also felt that the Group of Ministers which made the recommendation to retain the project based on fiscal issues — Rs. 600 crore has already been spent on the project — had not taken into account these issues.