President and CEO, Ogden Corp.
VP, Policy & Communications, Ogden Corp.
I am writing to urge you to withdraw from the Maheshwar Dam in India. This project is a social and economic disaster and will destroy the lands and livelihoods of 40,000 people living in the Narmada Valley.
Despite assertions by your company, no land is available to give to people whose lands will be flooded. A 1998 report by India's premier social research institute, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, found that government lands claimed to be available for resettlement were either eroded and stony, already used by other poverty-stricken communities, or located in the submergence zone of the reservoir. The report also found that claims of private lands identified for resettlement were fictitious.
Investment in the Maheshwar Dam poses serious political and financial risks. The Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board, which is supposed to purchase power from the project, is bankrupt and is likely to default on its payments. The affected people, led by the Narmada Bachao Andolan, are determined that they will never let the project be built.
I urge you to respect the demands of the people affected by the Maheshwar Dam and withdraw from this destructive and uneconomic project.