Shimla, Feb 13 (PTI) Seven policemen and a home guard were injured on the Solan-Bilaspur border on Tuesday when they were pelted with stones by people during a protest against the construction of Ali Khad drinking water supply scheme, police said.

According to police, around 400 people gathered near Navagaon village on the Border of Solan and Bilaspur districts and tried to stop the construction work.

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The protesters were addressed by their leaders and once their speech was over they started throwing stones, police said.

A case of rioting and obstructing public servants from performing their duty has been registered against the protestors and some of the leaders have been identified, Solan Superintendent of Police Gaurav Singh told the PTI.

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He said that the injured are being medically examined and the situation is peaceful and is under police watch.

Residents of Bilaspur and Nainadevi have been protesting the construction of the Ali Khad drinking water supply scheme at Triveni Ghat for over a fortnight claiming that the project will cause Bilaspur town acute water crisis in the coming time.

Bilaspur residents had earlier met Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and submitted a memorandum of their demands.

After the construction of the scheme, 10 lakh litres of water will be lifted every day from the area, protesters claim.

They have asked the Jal Shakti Department, Arki Mandal, to construct a water reservoir on Ali Khad instead of a lift water supply scheme.

They argued that the current project will lead to the closure of 24 drinking water and seven irrigation schemes of Bilaspur district, depriving about 35 panchayats of Naina Devi and Bilaspur Sadar assembly of drinking and irrigation water.

A spokesperson of the Jal Shakti department said that a committee has been constituted to address the concerns of Bilaspur residents.

He said the scheme won't impact the residents in any way, but benefit about 9,000 people of 71 villages of Solan district.

As 89 per cent of the area under the scheme falls in Solan district, it will not cause any type of water scarcity to people in Bilaspur, he said.

He also said that a senior hydrogeologist of the Ground Water Cell of Jal Shakti Department has inspected the site and concluded that construction of the drinking water supply scheme will not have any negative impact on Navgaon Khad.

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