Chapter 8: The Narmada Dam, India: the courage of tribals
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India has been witness to many battles over large dams for decades. One is a long-running conflict over the construction of a dam on the Narmada River: Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. A critical facet of this dispute is the focus on the dam’s size and construction, and the eviction of families who live on the Narmada’s shores and whose ancestors lived there for hundreds of years. These peoples are known as Adivsis or indigenous peoples. The Narmada Valley Development Project is the largest and most expensive such project in India’s history. However, politicians and scientists are locked in combat over damming rivers, particularly the impacts on the rivers’ health and upon the indigenous peoples. Following numerous attempts at resolution, an indigenous group, the Narmada Bachao Andolan, sued the government of India in an effort to prevent the construction of the Narmada Dam and the displacement of people living on the proposed project sites and the areas to be submerged.

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