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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Farmers and dams

Online edition of India's National Newspaper on indiaserver.com
Wednesday, July 19, 2000


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Farmers and dams

Sir, - Ms. Gail Omvedt's article about ``Farmers and dams'' (The Hindu, July 12 and 13) ends with a concrete intervention in the debate on the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, by suggesting that a height of 110 instead of 138 metres would be a reasonable ``middle way'' for environmentalists as well as farmers. Which farmers? Here Ms. Omvedt is less concrete. Who constitute the 90 per cent whose eviction as claimed by her can be avoided at 110 metres? And who are the unfortunate 10 per cent? The answer is that the whole adivasi belt will be wiped out, if raising the height up to 110m. is allowed. That is what the NBA opposes, not for the sake of eco-romanticism, but for the sake of adivasis and their livelihood. And their protracted struggle is as well in the interest of many non-adivasi farmers in the Western part of Nimad, who according to government data, will also be affected by further rise in the height.

D. W. Karuna

Madurai (TN)

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