Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ecologically disastrous dams may get the go-ahead

A submerged idol of Hindu Lord Shiva stands in the flooded river Ganges at Rishikesh on June 18, 2013.

 A submerged idol of Hindu deity Shiva stands in the flooded river Ganges at Rishikesh on 18 June 2013. Photograph: AP
In mid-February, the ministry of environment and forests virtually approved six hydropower dams. This is the latest in an 18-month-long debate on the ecological impact of dams in Uttarakhand.
In June 2013, floods severely damaged parts of the state. About 6,000 people died, and tens of thousands of pilgrims were stranded. The disaster destroyed six villages, buried dozens of others in silt, and wrecked highways. 
Within days of the disaster, environmentalists and villagers alleged dams aggravated the disaster. When reservoirs brimmed over the danger mark, dam operators opened the sluice gates without warning villagers living downstream. The unexpected deluge washed away people, livestock, and buildings. Dynamite used to blast tunnels destabilised mountain slopes causing numerous landslides.
Read more at the Guardian

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