Alfred Brush Ford’s business company ABF International came to India in 2005 with a spate of investments in mega tourism projects. The largest one with an investment of $300 million was a Ski Village to be built in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. The Himalayan Ski Village Limited (HSV), was a company floated for it, in which Alfred Ford maintained the largest share. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the proposed Himalayan Ski-Village Resort in Kullu District was inked on 9th December 2005 with State Cabinet approval.
The project would have negatively impacted local communities engaged in tourism activities (such as guides), and innumerable families that depend on the mountains for cultivating medicinal plants and herbs for their livelihood. Local campaigns against the project began in 2006 when Jan Jagran Evam Vikas Samiti (JJVS), a local NGO based in Kullu District, managed to get a copy of the MoU which revealed that the government had heavily short changed the public and state’s interest for a property development plan for private profits.
The government had planned to hand over irrevocable rights to use water, power and land is It shocked the residents of the proposed project area. This was a project that had been approved without due public consultation. The community got in touch with us to help fight the setup of the resort. We helped the residents and local NGOs run a strong campaign and provided them with the necessary research help and support. They were able to stall the project.