The Narmada RiverNarmada means „ever-delightful‟, one of the holiest rivers in the country of India“they say that even the site of the river will cleanse all of your sins”
The Narmada river• It is the largest westward flowing river in India.
The Narmada river – The people• It is home to over a million people, mainly tribal people, Adivasi (original dwellers) whose grandparents lived on and farmed the land.• Local farmers, wage laborers, craftspeople and fishermen live along the river and rely on it for their livelihood.
Why the Narmada Dam?Currently in India:• 1/5 of pop. (200 million people) are without safe drinking water• 2/3 of pop. (600 million people) lack basic sanitation• 2/5 of pop. (350 million people) live below the poverty line• With rain being sporadic because of rainy seasons and variations between different parts of the country, the idea of storing river water in reservoirs behind dams seemed to be a great solution
The Narmada Dam Project• The first of the dams to be built is the Sardar Sarovar. It is considered to be one of the most important dams in the project and the biggest water development project in India• According to the government, the Sardar Sarovar Dam will do the following: • Provide safe drinking water to 30 million people • Irrigate 4.8 million hectares of land • Produce 550 megawatts of power • Provide 1,300 cubic-meters of water per year for municipal and industrial purposes • Provide a drainage system to carry away floodwaters • It will also take the land of 320,000 people
The Sardar Sarovar Dam• Initial Budget(1986-87) Rs 6,400 cr• Investors are the World Bank until 1993 (when they withdrew), Gov. of Gujarat (state where the Sardar Sarovar dam is located) and S.Kumars (India‟s leading textile companies)• Expenditure so far Rs 14,000 cr• Projected Total cost Rs 24,000 cr• Cost of main canal Rs 4,000 cr• Villages submerged 14• Families displaced 4,600• Irrigation for 1.91 million hectares• Drinking water for 8,200 villages, 135 towns
Other facts……• It will displace 180,000 people more than projected and affect 700,000 livelihoods• 3,200 dams to be built along 1,200km Narmada river.• Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan were likely to benefit from this project.• Opponents says the DAM will displace 200,000 people and damage ecology.• It is estimated that the project would be fully complete by 2025.
Proponents• Indian Government supports the building of dams.• The World Bank supported the Sardar Sarovar Dam Project and loaned India $450 million. They withdrew from the project after an independent review confirmed social and environmental impacts were increasing.• Supreme court gave stay order & directed the states to complete rehabilitation process.• In 2000, Supreme court gave the final verdict of completion of construction according to its original scale.
Opponents• Dalits and Adivasi (indigenous people). In accordance to their caste system they are often referred to as „untouchables‟. Many of these people are uneducated and very few can read and write.• Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), Save the Narmada Movement. The movement started in 1986 when the World Bank lent India $450 million for the Sardar project. It was started by a social worker named Medha Patkar. She is the representative for the NBA movement.
Opponents• Baba Amte; a social worker whose work with leprosy has earned him much respect in the country among the tribal people and government officials.• Arundhati Roy; Booker Prize-winning author supporter of the „Save the Narmada Movement‟; wrote a book about the Dams in India called „The Greater Common Good‟.“Nobody builds Big Dams to provide drinking water to rural people. Nobody can afford to.”“Theres a lot of money in poverty .” - Arundhati Roy
Their principal ground of opposition• Non fulfillment of basic environmental conditions• Insufficient plans & studies• Local inhabitants not being taken into confidence• Insufficient compensation
Admirable POINTS TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL 1. Overwhelmed low rainfall, unreliable monsoon, long dry season 2. Difficulties also overcame by irrigation
3. Create new ecosystems e.g. Reservoirs can be build and used economically Large water bodies shall be created as a result of various dams being constructed on the river Narmada & its tributaries.• The reservoirs would, therefore, offer tremendous opportunities forfisheries development which would ultimately benefit the fishermensocially and economically in the respective areas.
Spoilage TO THE ENVIRONMENT 1. Flooded and destroyed good lands and vegetation 2. Drowning trees
4. SalinisationSoils may become saline in desert areas i.e. No new farmingwould be sustainable Of the total area to be irrigated by Sardar Sarovar, only 40% is classified as "suitable" and "very suitable" for irrigation. The remaining 60%, had more or less severe problems related to high salt content in the soil impacting the flora and fauna and the groundwater making the water not suitable for drinking.
5. Threat to aquatic habitat – Barriers for fish passage, water quality is affected because of change in land use. It can also affect aquatic life.6. Water logging – Excess water in the soil can render the soil useless. This could affect 40% of the area to be irrigated.
„save the Narmada MOveMent‟• Established in 1989• Sept 1989 - 60,000 people rally against destructive development• Jan 1990 – 5,000 people marched on the Narmada Valley Development authority offices forcing them to close• March 1990 – 10,000 protesters blocked the highway from Bombay for two days• May 1990 – 2,000 people staged a sit-in outside the prime ministers house in Delhi
“save the Narmada MOveMent”• Christmas Day 1990 – Long March – 3,000 people walked 100km, which took a week to the dam site and 6 others went on a hunger strike demanding the government suspend work on the dam and hold an independent review. It lasted 22 days until they broke fast – this made Narmada an international issue.• Jan 1991 – The World Bank commissions independent review
Why did the World Bank withdraw the loan?• It was a protest by the NBA called satyagraha that caught the World Banks attention.• They sent in an independent review team headed by Hugh Body, a British anthropologist and Donald Gamble, a Canadian environmental engineer.• However, India has already received $250 million from the World Bank and is “legally obligated towards the Bank to carry out its obligations under the loan agreement.”
PROMISES OF Resettlement• While the pictures of the new settlements look like an improvement, they are deceiving.• The resettlement agency showed the same town to tribal people who were considering being relocated.• For those that resign to move, will be taken Old school to a completely different town with no amenities promised, if there are any houses available at all• The other option is to take a cash payment for what their land is worth, which oftentimes is not enough to buy other property and goes to food for survival New school
FAILURE OF Resettlement plan• Not enough resettlement sites have been set up for the amount of people already displaced.• The sites that have been set up have no electricity, no water, no farming, and no fruit or trees.
So where do the people go?• They move to the outskirts of the city where they try to get work as laborers and live on less than $1 a day• They go back to their old town by the river and hope that their houses have not been destroyed by police
What about the people with no water? • Millions of people are affected by water shortages in Gujarat. • Twenty years ago people relied on wells, but the wells are now dry. • Agribusiness and industry are drilling ever deeper tube wells to find water, which is causing the water level to decrease by about 4ft every year.A PICTURE USED ON THE DAM BUILDERS WEBSITE • Currently, the town of Gujarat, is dependant on emergency water supplies from the government
But….. ….if the water is so scarce why is there a water park in Gujarat where people are dying of thirst? A WATER THEME PARKS DISCOTHEQUE.
Utilizing Resources The village of Raj Samadhiyala is also in the drought region and yet it is self-sufficient in water because they are using simple water saving and collecting techniques to recharge the groundwater level and their wells.
Current status of the Dam• The Spillway of Sardar Sarovar Dam is raised upto its crest level of 121.92 m• Construction of Irrigation Bye Pass Tunnel [IBPT] is almost completed.• Preconstruction activities of Garudeshwar weir has been taken up.• Protests are a regular occurrence and they will continue to do so until the dam is stopped.
Our idea as a manager (recommendation)• To form a core committee & sub committees for direct dialogue between local villagers and govt. agencies• To implement a comprehensive compensation scheme• To set into motion a full scale PR campaign: – To garner support at national & international level – To propagate the achievements till date – To make local villagers fully aware of their contribution in nation‟s development
How can we learn more www.narmada.org www.spannerfilms.com www.dams.org www.irn.org
References/BibliographyArticles, Books, Case Studies• Caufield, Catherine (1996) Masters of illusion: The world Bank & Poverty of Nations. New York, Henry Holt.• Hails, Dr. Chris (2004).UNEP Workshop on Financing Dams and Sustainable Development, WWF International London, 21-22 April 2004• Jain, Sonu (2004). Can Gujarat quench the great thirst? The Indian Express. March 14• Pottinger, Lori (2001) Dammed if you do. The Ecologist. Feb• Rangachari, R., Sengupta, N., Iyer, R.R., Banerji, P., and Singh, S. (2000). Large Dams: India‟s Experience, a WCD case study prepared a an input to the World Commission on Dams, Capetown, www.dams.org