Around 400 conservationists, scientists, people’s groups, members of Non-Governmental Organisations and the public have together signed an appeal to the government to scrap the proposed Sillahalla pumped hydro-electric storage project (PHESP).
What is the concern?
- In the appeal made to the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley Projects, the signatories pointed out that “The Kundah watershed region in the Nilgiris supports important last remaining vestiges of the Shola-grassland mosaic vegetation, which is one of the most endangered vegetation types in India. This region has crucial amounts of green cover in terms of forested tracts (plantations) which have been naturalised and serve as important habitat and corridors for endangered populations of wildlife.”
- The proposed Sillahalla project, once implemented, will result in the construction of an upper and a lower reservoir along the Sillahalla stream and also past the existing Kundah Palam dam, and could lead to the direct submergence of 170 hectares of land.
About Toda Tribe
- Toda Tribe is a pastoral tribe of the Nilgiri Hills of southern India.
- The Toda language is Dravidian but is the most unusual and different among the languages belonging to the Dravidian family.
- They live in settlements of from three to seven small thatched houses.
- They traditionally trade dairy products, as well as cane and bamboo articles, with the other Nilgiri peoples.
- The traditional Toda dress is a distinctive shawl which is called putukuli. In the Toda language it is called pohor. It enjoys a ‘Geographical Indication Tag’.
- The embroidery is done by Toda women and has distinctive red and black (and occasionally blue) thread work in geometric designs on unbleached white cotton fabric.