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Resistance to Dam Project Grows in South Gujarat

By Priyanka Borpujari

, by Infochange

People from 16 villages on the Gujarat-Maharashtra border have been demonstrating their resistance to the Par-Tapi-Narmada river interlinking project, another multi-dam project which is slated to submerge 3,572 hectares of forests and displace 25,000 people.

[...] The project is part of the peninsular river development component, proposed in the 1970s. It comprises the building of seven reservoirs on the Par, Nar, Tapi, Purna, Ambica, Auranga and Khapri rivers, and a 401 km-long link canal connecting the reservoirs, to irrigate 1.88 lakh hectares in Bharuch and Vadodara districts which are already slated to be irrigated by the Sardar Sarovar dam waters. The feasibility reports prepared by the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) mention that the project will also generate 93 Mkwh of electricity; the end consumers are only vaguely mentioned. The human price to be paid has been calculated using census data from as far back as 1991: the displacement figure has been put at 14,832 people. Today, the number of people likely to be displaced easily stands at 25,000.

[...] Collective realisation of their possible submergence, and the subsequent anger, resulted in the formation of the Par-Purna Adivasi Sangathan comprising people from Gundiya, Khadki, Tutarkhed, Chikhalpada, Mohanakavchali, Satvakal and other villages and hamlets across Dharampur taluka.

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