Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Activists Fight Building of Narmada Dam in India

StoryNovember 23, 1999
Watch iconWatch Full Show

For more than a decade, people in India have been fighting the massive Narmada Valley Development Project, which involves the construction of thousands of dams on the Narmada River–considered to be one of India’s holiest rivers. Spanning 800 miles through three states, India’s fifth largest river runs into the Arabian Sea.

The project currently calls for 30 major, 135 medium and 3,000 small dams to be built along the Narmada and its tributaries over the next 50 years. Its centerpiece is to be the Sardar Sarovar Dam, stretching 4,000 feet across the river and rising to the height of a 45-story building–making it the largest water development project in India, and possibly in the world. The multi-billion dollar venture is intended to irrigate nearly 4.8 million acres of farmland and bring drinking water to 30 million people. Its construction would also uproot almost a half a million people living along its banks and in surrounding communities, many of them indigenous people known in India as the adivasi. Many of them are subsistence farmers and cattle and goat herders.

After numerous hunger strikes, demonstrations and lawsuits by local populations, the Indian Supreme Court suspended construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in 1995. However, the Supreme Court lifted the ban this past February and also allowed the dam’s projected height to be increased.

Guest:

  • Medha Patkar, Social Activist and leader of the National Alliance of People’s Movements and of the " Save the Narmada Movement."
  • Patrick McCully, Campaign Director of the International Rivers Network and author of the book "Silenced Rivers: The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams." He has worked on the Narmada Dam movement since 1992.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation