Thirty-three million people. Displaced by big dams alone in the last fifty years What about those that have been displaced by the thousands of other Development Projects? At a private lecture, N.C. Saxena, Secretary to the Planning Commission, said he thought the number was in the region of 50 million (of which 40 million were displaced by dams). We daren't say so, because it isn't official. It isn't official because we daren't say so. You have to murmur it for fear of being accused of hyperbole. You have to whisper it to yourself, because it really does sound unbelievable. It can't be, I've been telling myself. I must have got the zeroes muddled. It can't be true. I barely have the courage to say it aloud. To run the risk of sounding like a 'sixties hippie dropping acid ("It's the System, man!"), or a paranoid schizophrenic with a persecution complex. But it is the System, man. What else can it be?
And this in The Hindu
On March 8, 2006, the Narmada Control Authority gave permission to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to 121.92 meters. This was just one more stage in the step-by-step raising of the dam height. Yet, there is something final about it. At this level, the dam wall is complete, and only the gates remain to be fixed. So far, a part of the river has still been flowing. If this new level is reached, it will be the end of this. The senses that have been numbed with assault after assault in the last decade are suddenly overwhelmed. I myself cannot help breaking down. But these are the last tears. After all, how long can one keep crying for the dead?
more on this later.