Dams Threaten Aboriginal Tribe

By K. S. Harikrishnan

, by IPS

Over the years, the Kadars, a dwindling aboriginal tribe who live on the borders of the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, have survived pestilences, extreme exploitation and even mass sterilisations. But a new government plan to build a hydroelectric dam across the Chalakudy River would have been the death knell for the group who now number about 1,500.

With the Ministry of Environment and Forest veto of the proposed 140 million U.S. dollar dam project at Athirapilli in the valley of the Western Ghats, the Kadars have gotten a reprieve.

The decision of the Environment Ministry is "a major success for the forest and the tribe," A. Latha, an environmentalist and research co-ordinator of the Thrissur-based River Research Centre, told IPS.Read more