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Saturday 15 April 2000

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Anti-Narmada wave reaches Fund-Bank meet

WASHINGTON: Demonstrators, including anti-Narmada dam activists, held a rally to protest the displacement of "three million poor people by World Bank projects".

Activists claimed the world body's projects had led to a "forcible displacement of about three million people in the name of development."

With larger-than-life puppets, the activists dramatised the vast numbers of people affected by numerous projects.

Many of the three million people displaced by bank projects, they claimed, were being evicted from their homes to make way for projects such as large dams and power plants and others have been "brutally massacred" for voicing their opposition.

Venu Govindu of Friends of Narmada, Carlos Chen (Chixoy dam, Guatemala), Dana Clark, on behalf of the Centre for International Environmental Law, and Aviva Imhof of International Rivers Network, addressed the rally.

The bank has taken the position that it looks into every complaint, that its doors are open to the environmentalists and that those who protest against projects have also to recognise that poverty cannot be eliminated without development, though development by itself will not remove poverty.(PTI)



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