level will rise, drowning the larvae ( MSU 1983; various ESG minutes and agenda notes). This argument was maintained by the authorities for at least 6 years, and it was only in 1991 that a proper study has been initiated to investigate the possible increase in incidence of malaria. In the case of both the reservoir and the command area, the possibility of increase in malaria has now been confirmed (Kalra 1992).
Official vector control in India is usually done with pesticides. The SSP authorities are no different. DDT, BHC, and malathion are the most common pesticides used to control malaria. These pesticides affect aquatic life in reservoirs. Fish and fish-eating birds concentrate these pesticides in their bodies and accumulate large quantities (see, for instance, Vijayan 1991), which could ultimately also affect people living along the reservoir. Pesticides would also be ingested by people who get drinking water from the SSP canals. It is possible that such health impacts will be minimised by the dilution effect of the water, but it would be prudent to do assessments of the possible concentrations of pesticides which could build up. No such assessment has been made. Though repeatedly alerted to thew aspects, "insecticidal spraying" still remains a major part of the vector control strategy (NCA 1993).
It is also worth noting that while health facilities to combat epidemics of diseases like malaria are common in the non-tribal plains area of Nimar (M.P.), such facilities in the tribal areas of all three states are woefully inadequate or absent. The brunt of any increased malaria is thus likely to be borne by the most marginalised residents of the affected area.
Reservoirs have various other associated environmental impacts, including the spread of weeds on and around the water body, the possibility of inducing seismicity, and subsidence of areas adjacent to the reservoir (the rim). We are not making any comments on these, as basic information on them is not available to us.
Summary: The SSP will result in the destruction of hilsa and giant freshwater prawn fisheries downstream of the dam, in addition to having negative impacts on other aquatic life, including the mahseer. Additional problem include the impact of flash floods. These problem could be compounded by the increasing concentration of pollution, because the dam will reduce river flow and encourage the growth of urban/industrial centres and of intensive fanning.