Governments in favour of huge dams

News 12.05.2011

In Chile as well as in India disputed dam projects got approved by the respective governments.Protests followed the approval of the damming of two rivers as part of the HidroAysén project in Chile on May 9. The government argues that Chile needs to strengthen its energy production for poverty alleviation and growth. Opposing voices – among them Juan Pablo Orrego (Chile, RLA 1998) – point out that the dam would destroy rare ecosystems and that there are less destructive ways to increase energy production such as solar energy. The majority of the population is against the dams.

Source: The Guardian, Blickpunkt Lateinamerika (German)

In India, the Prime Minister’s Office pressured the Environment Ministry to allow resumed work on the Maheshwar dam project, one of the dams on the Narmada river. It had been stopped in April 2010 because the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation had not yet provided any land as compensation for those losing their settlements to the dam and the following flooding although the dam was close to completion.

Source: News One

Medha Patkar (India, RLA 1991) who has been on a hunger strike demanding a construction stop at Sardar Saovar, the terminal dam on the river, was brought to hospital by force.

Source: Central Chronicle

Demands to extend the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy made by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (an NGO founded by Medha Patkar) on behalf of dam oustees were turned down by the Supreme Court yesterday. The Court recommended the State to avoid further delays in ongoing dam building projects so that the money already invested may be turned into profit.

Source: The Economic Times.

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