Narmada Diary

Diario sulla Narmada

"By the time you see these images, what they show might never have existed." This was 1994 and the images were of Domkheri, a village along the Nar mada River in India's Maharashtra state.This area, inhabited by Adivasi (aborigines in India), was basically wiped off the map with the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam, India's highest and most con - troversial dam built as par t of the great dam construction project along the Narmada River beginning in the 1970s.The idea f or a videodiary of the ensuing disaster began in December 1990,stemming from the desperate need to document tensions between the NBA (the environmentalist group against construction of the dams) and the Indian authorities. With a projected cost of 130 billion rupees (which in the end tripled), the dam was designed to submerge "only" 37,000 acres and displace and estimated 200,000 inhabitants.Ten years after the dam's completion, it is impossible to quantify the damage done. Effects are lingering: In the summer of 2001 many villages were destroyed in monsoon flooding related to the dam's construction. In 1991 the World bank pledged an investment of 450 million dollars, but backed out when studies revealed the cost in human and environmental terms,as a result of excessive salinization and deforestation. Despite all, work on the dams project continues, with mounting resistance from protest groups and locals, with charismatic and energetic Medha Patkar, head of the Narmada Movement, leading the charge.<%YOUTUBE=A7o4Oq3bBt4%>

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India

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