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To: Shri Digvijay Singh
Chief Minister
Madhya Pradesh

To: Shri M.A.S. Kasliwal
President S.Kumars

To: Chairperson
Power Finance Corporation

To: Shri K.D. Agarwal
Industrial Finance Corporation of India

To: Shri M.S. Verma
State Bank of India

To: Shri Ramesh Mishra
Dena Bank, India

To: Herr Heinrich Von Pierer
Chief Executive Officer
Siemens AG

To: Dr. Albrecht Schmidt
Bayerische Vereinsbank

To: Herr Dr. Michael Kruse
Bundesministerium fuer Wirtschaft
Bonn Germany

To: Mr Goran Lindahl
Chief Executive Officer
ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd.

To: Mr Fredrick W. Buckman
Chief Executive Officer
PacifiCorp USA

To: Chief Executive Officer
Asian Infrastructure Fund
Hong Kong China

cc Mr James Wolfensohn
International Finance Corporation

cc Ms Clare Short, MP
Secretary of State for International Development
United Kingdom

cc Mr J. Brian Atwood

cc Mr Mitsuo Sato
Asian Development Bank

cc Prof. Kader Asmal
World Commission on Dams

cc H.E. Shri L.C. Jain
World Commission on Dams

cc H.E. Dr. Heinrich-Dietrich Dieckmann
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany

May 11, 1998


  1.  Maheshwar Dam would submerge 5000 hectares of land, displacing 2200 families and harming the livelihoods of thousands more. Families whose land has been seized have received inadequate - and illegal - levels of compensation. No resettlement plan exists. Local people have opposed the seizure of their land and have requested the Narmada Bachao Andolan/Save the Narmada Movement (NBA) to join them in their struggle to defend their rights.
  2. Following a year-long struggle, the Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) on January 30, 1998, issued a written order announcing that it would suspend construction on the dam pending a comprehensive review of its costs, benefits and alternatives. This announcement met the demands of the NBA who called off a dam-site occupation by thousands of local people and a hunger strike. A Task Force previously established to review the Narmada Valley Development Project, and including representatives from the GoMP, NBA and academia, has been directed to carry out this review.
  3. At a special meeting of the Task Force on March, 4, 1998, the project developer, S.Kumars, urged to be allowed to restart construction at Maheshwar for "safety purposes". The NBA opposed this request believing that it is a ruse to allow work to continue and thus reassure investors that the project will not be significantly delayed. However on March, 11, 1998, GoMP issued a notification allowing "any work for the purposes of safety and resettlement".
  4. In early April, S.Kumars restarted work, including blasting, at Maheshwar under protection of a force of around 1500 police and prohibitory orders banning protestors from the dam site. On April 22, several thousand people recaptured the dam site. Police arrested hundreds of villagers and prevented drinking water tankers from reaching the protestors despite the 42 degree centigrade heat and lack of shelter, forcing people to drink oil-contaminated river water. In the evening police arrested those remaining at the site, bringing the total of the day's arrests to around 1200.
  5. The following day, hundreds more people dodged police barricades and once again took over the site. The police, without warning or provocation, reacted with brutality, repeatedly beating the peaceful protestors with batons and rifle butts, charging them on horseback, and using sexually abusive language against women protestors. Several tear gas shells were fired. By the evening of April 23, around 1500 people were in jail and around 23 in hospital, some with serious injuries. Work is currently continuing under the protection of the prohibitory orders and a massive police presence.
  6. The concession to build and operate the 400 megawatt Maheshwar Dam on the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh state in central India has been given to a private company, S.Kumars. Preliminary work on the project began in 1996. The dam is scheduled to be completed in 2002. S.Kumars are receiving numerous public subsidies and guarantees to ensure that private investors will make a profit from Maheshwar while the sizeable financial risks of the project are borne by the public sector. The NBA and independent energy experts have challenged the economic and technical viability of the project, which will be one of the main subjects in the ongoing review.
  7.  According to an S.Kumars document dated 17 December, 1996, and other sources, financing for the project will come from:

  8. a) German bank Bayerische Vereinsbank and probably Export Credit Agency, Hermes-Baergschaften.
    b) US energy utility PacifiCorp. A former subsidiary of PacifiCorp, Pacific Generation Co. (PacGen), worked with S.Kumars on structuring the financing package for Maheshwar and was listed to be one of the largest equity holders in the project. PacifiCorp sold PacGen in November 1997 but retained the subsidiary's overseas interests. On May 7, 1998, PacifiCorp, wrote to the NBA stating that "we do not intend to participate further in the [Maheshwar] project" and that "If PacifiCorp were to reevaluate an investment position in the project in the future, it would only be under the condition that the needs of the mass of affected people be properly addressed and consensus regarding how the Project proceeds is reached by all stakeholders, including Narmada Bachao Andolan."
    c) Power Finance Corporation, a specialized financial institution wholly owned by the Government of India. PFC funders include the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, US Agency for International Development and UK Overseas Development Agency.
    d) Industrial Finance Corporation of India
    e) State Bank of India
    f) Dena Bank 
  9.  Siemens AG and ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd. are believed to have signed contracts to supply generating and other equipment for the dam. S.Kumars has requested both companies to buy equity in the project.

Condemn the repression of peaceful protests at Maheshwar Dam and the breaking of the Madhya Pradesh government's written commitment to suspend construction work.

Call on the Government of Madhya Pradesh to cease the repression at Maheshwar and to reinstate their commitment to suspend construction pending the results of the Task Force's review.

Call on S.Kumars to immediately cease all work on Maheshwar Dam and to only restart work if the Task Force concludes that the dam should be built and local people agree with this conclusion.

Call on Power Finance Corporation, Industrial Finance Corporation of India, State Bank of India, Dena Bank and Bayerische Vereinsbank to make public announcements condemning the use of violence against peaceful protestors and guaranteeing that they will only lend to or invest in the Maheshwar Project if the Task Force reaches a consensus that the dam should be built and local people agree with this conclusion. Call on Hermes-Buergschaften to make a public announcement condemning the use of violence against peaceful protestors and guaranteeing that they will only guarantee loans to the Maheshwar Project if the Task Force reaches a consensus that the dam should be built and local people agree with this conclusion.

Call on ABB and Siemens to make a public announcement condemning the use of violence against peaceful protestors and withdrawing their involvement in the project until such a time as the Task Force reaches a consensus that the dam should be built and local people agree with this conclusion.

Endorsed by



Roberto Bystrowicz, La Casa De La Humanidad, Buenos Aires
Jorge A. Nallino, Centro Ecologista "Renacer", Villa Constitucion
Carlos Galano, Confederacion de Trabajadores de la Educacion de la Republica Argentina (CTERA)
Jorge Cappato, Fundacion Proteger, Santa Fe
Dra. Anna Petra Roge, Grupo Ecologico Cabayu Cuatia, La Paz, Entre Rios
Elba Stancich, Taller Ecologista, Rosario


Lee Rhiannon, AID/Watch
Melia Bugeja, Friends of the Earth
Peter Maclean, Toowoomba Region Environment Council, Queensland


Dan Jakubowicz, Friends of the Earth


CIVES - Associa Brasileira de Empreserios pela Cidadania
Alcides Faria, ECOA/Rios Vivos
Sandra Faillace, Federalio de Orgeosra Assisteancia Social e Educacional (FASE)
Friends of the Earth - Amazonia Program
Magda Renner, Friends of the Earth
Christian Guy Caubet, Fundao Agua Viva
Isis de Palma & Rachel Trajber, Imagens Contefado e Forma Produces Culturais Ltda., Sao Paulo
Instituto Centro de Vida - ICV Marcos Arruda, Instituto de Poledticas Alternativas para el Cono Sur (PACS)


Dianne Murray, Dam-Reservoir Working Group, OPIRG-Carleton, Carleton Univerisity
Patricia Adams, Probe International


Alison De Lucca, Asociacion Ecologista Costarricense - Friends of the Earth


Cristian Opaso, Grupo de Accion por el Bedobio


Jakub Patocka, DUHA/Friends of the Earth


Ricardo A. Navarro, Centro Salvadoreo de Tecnologeda Apropiada (CESTA),
Friends of the Earth


Wolfgang Kuhlmann, ARA, Germany
Bernhard Henselmann, Artists for Nature
Andreas Krug & Dorit Lehrack, Bund fuer Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland
e.V. - Friends of the Earth
Bernhard Henselmann, EarthLink - The People & Nature Network
Hermann Hatzfeldt, ECOROPA
Theodor Rathgeber, Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker
Hermann Edelmann, Pro REGENWALD
Christoph Meyer, Robin Wood
Heffa Schuecking, Urgewald
Barbara Unmuessig, World Economy, Ecology and Development (WEED), Bonn


Janos Vargha, Danube Circle


Haroon Mojawala, All India Milli Council
P. Govindan Kutti, All India People's Resistance Forum, New Delhi
Surendra Gadekar, Anumukti
Arun Rawle, Astitva
Hasina Khan, Awazi-e-Niswan
Gayatri Singh, Bandh Girni Kamgar Sangharsh Samiti
Fr. Henry Sequeira, Bandra East Community Centre
Somaiya, Bombay Sarvodaya Mandal
John D'Souza, C.E.D.
Mani Mistry, Centre for Enquiry into Health and Allied Themes
Rally Jacob, Chouda Gaon Shetkari Machimar Bachao Andolan Samiti
P.A.Sebastian, Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights
Dr. Vijaya Venkat, Consumers Against Irradiation
Nivedita Menon, Delhi Janwadi Adhikar Manch
Ramaa, Democratic Students' Centre, Delhi
Vinita Mansata, Earth Care
Professor Pawar and Ram Shigwan, Enron Virodhi Andolan
Leo F. Saldanha, Environment Support Group, Bangalore
Mihir Desai, Forum Against Oppression for Women
Neera Adarkar, Girangaon Bachao Andolan
Datta Iswalkar, Girni Sangharsh Samiti
Nityanand Jayaraman, Green Peace
Dr. Vijaya Venkat, Health Awareness Centre
Colin Gonsalves, Human Rights Law Network
Chandana Shetye, Indian Centre for Human Rights and Law
Deepika D'Souza, Indian People's Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights
Subhash Sule, Indranet
Nagesh Hatkar, Jan Sahyog Trust
Fr. Allwyn D'Silva, Justice and Peace Commission
Colin Gonsalves, Legal Aid Centre
Jagdish Redij, Life Foundation
Vijay Charia, Lok Vidya Trust, Varanasi
Anthony Samy, Lokshahi Hakk Sangathana
Madhushri Datta, Majlis
Phiroze Mithiborwalla, Muslim Intellectual Forum
Sadhana Dadhich, Nari Samata Manch, Pune
Sarosh & Pervin, Narmada Bachao Andolan-Bombay Support Group
Sanjay M.G.& Lata P.M., National Alliance of People's Movements
Shalini & Ruma, Nirantar, New Delhi
Shilpa Gokhale, Nirman
Gurbir Singh & P.K. Das, Nivara Hakk Suraksha Samiti
Fr. Rocky Banz, Office of Social Work
Vijay Chariar, Patriotic and People's Science and Technology, New Delhi
Amita Baviskar, People's Union for Civil Liberties, New Delhi
Ravi Shukla, People's Union for Democratic Rights, New Delhi
Priya Salvi, Prakruti
Kavaljit Singh, Public Interest Research Group, New Delhi
Kumar Prashant, Rashtriya Yuvak Sangathan
Rajesh Kuruvilla, Resource and Support Centre for Development
Ira Roy, Sachetan
Laxmi Murthy, Saheli Women's Resource Centre, New Delhi
Gajanan Khatu, Samajwadi Jan Parishad
Neeraj, Sarvahara Mehanatakash Sangharsha Samiti, New Delhi
Kisan Mehta, Save Bombay Committee
Mamta Sahgal, Save the Lakes Campaign
Ashok Kumar, Save Western Ghats Movement
Nancy Gaikwad, Soshit Jan Andolan
Kajal Mehta, Toxics Link
Dr. Vijaya, Trust For Re-education and Understanding of True Health
Melissa Monteiro, Vasundhra
Mansatas, Vision Vara
Hareshwar Raot, Wadhwan Bunder Sangharsh Samiti
Preeti Prabhu, Xavier's Institute of Communication
Alpa, Youth For Unity And Voluntary Action


WALHI/Friends of the Earth


Laura Radiconcini, Amici della Terra
Francesco Martone & Liliana Cori, Campagna per la Riforma della Banca


Mekong Watch
Toshiko Niikura, Saitoh Aya, & Heather Souter, Rivers!Japan


Philippa Walsh & Lee Taehwa, Green Korea United


Elizabeth Wong, SUARAM


Julian Manduca, Moviment ghall-Ambjent, Friends of the Earth


Wiert Wiertsema, Both Ends Irene Bloemink, Friends of the Earth


Bikash Pandey, Alliance for Energy
Shobhakar Budhathoki, INHURED International
Arjun K. Karki, Rural Reconstruction Nepal


Simon Reeves, Tamaki Makau Rau Auckland UNCED Earth Summit Committee


Oyvind Eggen, FIVAS - Association for International Water and Forest Studies
Morten Roenning, The Future in our Hands/NorWatch


Aly Ercelawn & Muhammad Nauman, Citizens Alliance in Reforms for Efficient and Equitable Development
Ayaz Latif Palijo, Sindh Research Council (SRC)
Mishka Zaman, SUNGI Foundation


Oscar Rivas, SOBREVIVENCIA-Friends of the Earth


Jimmy Moreno, Grupo Ecologico Huayra Purina, Universidad Nacional de San Marten


Lu, International Affairs Officer, Peasant Movement of the Philippines (KMP)


Aaron Rice, Society for the Earth
Jacek Bozek, Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczno-Kulturalne "Klub Gaja"


Arkady Kalikhman & Vladimir Berezhnykh, InterBAIKAL Agency, Irkutsk

Juraj Zamkovsky, Center for Environmental Public Advocacy/Friends of the Earth

Edith Huang, Amigos de la Tierra
Manuel Calvo, Asociacion Ecologista de Defensa de la Naturaleza AEDENAT-Dos Hermanas
Jose MAA Gallardo Duren, AEDENAT-Extremadura
Fdo. Asociacion Ecologista de La Rioja, ERA-AEDENAT
Pedro Padilla Zagalaz, Colectio Ecologista Retama, Argamasilla de Alba,
Ciudad Real
Jose de la Rubia, Collectiu Eco-pacifista l'Arquet, Vall d'Uixo, Castellan
Coordinadora Ecologista Almeriense-CEPA
Paco Segura , Coordinadora Madrilefa de Defensa de la Naturaleza
Santiago Marten Barajas, Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Defensa
Ambiental-CODA (federation of 170 ecological groups in Spain)
EKI - Plataforma Ekologista ERREKA, Bilbao, Bizkaia

Goran Ekloff, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
Daphne Thuvesson, Trees and People Forum


Peter Bosshard, Berne Declaration
Tobias Haller, Institute for Ecology and Action Anthropology


Charlie Soong, Meinung People's Association


Alex Wilks, Bretton Woods Project, England
Nicholas Hildyard, The Corner House, England
Eildon Dyer, East Pollokshields Columban House, Scotland
Lorne Stockman, Free Tibet Campaign - London
Sarah Tyack, Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland


Soren Ambrose, Alliance for Global Justice
Dave Batker, Asia-Pacific Environmental Exchange
Ali Mir, Association of South Asian Progressives, Indiana
Lisa Jordan, Bank Information Center
George Cofer, Barton Springs Coalition
Richard Kamp, Border Ecology Project
Dana Clark, Center for International Environmental Law
George Cofer, Central Texas Environmental Network
Jeff Jones, Environmental Advocates, Albany, NY
Bruce Rich, Environmental Defense Fund
Ann Leonard, Rob Weissman & Marcia Carroll, Essential Action
Dave Bassage, Friends of the Cheat, Inc.
Andrea Durbin, Friends of the Earth U.S.
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
Kathy McAfee, Grassroots International
Alexis Leonel Aguilar Henrndequez, Honduras Popular Support Group
Kristin Dawkins, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Ned Bertz, International Alliance of People's Movements, University of Iowa
Patrick McCully, International Rivers Network
Nasir Tak, Kashmir Environmental Watch Association
Tom FitzGerald, Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Kate Worster, The Land Institute, Salina, KS
Claire Cummings, Mekong Foundation
Orin Langelle, Native Forest Network
Colin Rajah, Overseas Development Network
Danny Kennedy, Project Underground
Christine Butza, The Rivers Project, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
Laura Soriano Morales, South and Meso American Indian Rights Center
Larry Williams, Sierra Club
Shawn Garvey, South Yuba River Citizens League
Smita Malpani, Women's Environment and Development Organization
Sufi Munawar Laghari, World Sindhi Institute, Washington, DC
Mark Dubois, WorldWise


Silvia Ribeiro, REDES-Friends of the Earth
Gerardo Honty, CEUTA-Uruguayan Research Center of Appropriate Technology


Saskia Ozinga, FERN
Marcus Colchester, Forest Peoples Programme
Flavio Luiz Schieck Valente, Global Forum on Sustainable Food and Nutritional Security
Cesar Marchesino, Red Juvenil Latinoamericana por un Desarrollo Sustentable
Maurizio Ferrari, World Rainforest Movement



Dr George J. Aditjondro, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Newcastle
Misha Coleman, Monash University
Alan Hoban, Institution of Engineers, Australia
Peter Phipps, University of Melbourne
Dr. Ajit Sinha, Dept. of Economics, University of Newcastle


Neal Burnham, Researcher, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario
Ellen Hagerman, Quebec
Tripat Gill, PhD Program, Faculty of Management, McGill University
Farzad Rafi Khan, Faculty of Management, McGill University
Ana Ning, Department of Anthropology, York University
Paul Phillips, Department of Economics, University of Manitoba
Nidhi Srinivas, PhD Program, Faculty of Management, McGill University
Mike Zmolek, PhD Candidate, Political Science Programme, York University


Dr John Hutnyk, European Science Foundation Research Fellow, University of Heidelberg
P.B. Sunil Kumarl, Max-Planck Institut, Teltow-Seehof
Oliver Theissen, Berlin


Ravi Bhagwat, Parisar, Pune
Professor Dr. N Bhattacharya, Delhi University
Dr Tannaz Birdi,
F.M.R. Asghar Ali Engineer, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism
Jharana Jhaveri, Jan Madhyam Productions, Delhi
Suhas Kolhekar, National Alliance of People's Movements
G.V. Krishnagopal, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat
Bharat Mansata, Classic Books
Apurba Misra, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat
Nergish Mistry, F.M.R.
Amit Mitra, New Delhi
Shubhangi Nagnath, National Alliance of People's Movements
Amrita Patwardhan, Delhi University
Sujit Patwardhan, Parisar, Pune
Vidya Patwardhan, Parisar, Pune
Kshama Rahirkar, National Alliance of People's Movements
Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Magazine, Mumbai, India
S. S. Sane, Parisar, Pune
Shikhar Sarkar Garg, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat
Anurag Singh, Jan Madhyam Productions, Delhi
Ashish V. Singh, Engineer, New Delhi
Suniti S.R., National Alliance of People's Movements
Himanshu Thakker, New Delhi
Vinay R.R., National Alliance of People's Movements
Statira Wadia, Parisar, Pune


Wong Meng Chuo, Integrated Development For Eco-friendly and Appropriate Lifestyle (IDEAL)
Dr. Ashwani Kumar Ramani, Dept. of Computer Science, University Putra Malaysia


Scott S. Robinson, Antropologeda, Universidad Metropolitana


Franco Barchiesi, Dept of Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand
Patrick Bond, Graduate School of Public and Development Management, University of the Witwatersrand
Bryan R Davies, Associate Professor, Freshwater Research Unit, University of Cape Town
Dale T. McKinley, SACP, Johannesburg
Rebecca Tharme, Freshwater Research Unit, University of Cape Town


Gautam Appa, Convenor, Department of Operational Research, London School of Economics
Daniel Mittler, University College London
George Monbiot, Visiting Professor, University of East London
Lyla Mehta, Institute for Development Studies, Sussex University
B. Skanthakumar, School Of Oriental And African Studies, London University
Laura Turney, Centre for the Study of Globalisation, Eurocentrism & Marginality (CGEM), Manchester University
M. Yousif Jamro, PhD. Research Student, Manchester Metropolitan University


Tom Athanasiou, Author, Albany, CA
Nikhil Aziz, University of Denver
Robert M. Ballenger, University of Washington
Catherine Caufield, Author, Inverness, CA
Sharmila Chakravarty, Osicom Technologies, Inc.
Dr. Rahul De', Bowie State University
James Devine, Professor of Economics, Econ. Dept., Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Sharvey Dhongde, Architect, Intern at Archeworks, Chicago
Peter Dorman, James Madison College, Michigan State University
Rob Efird, Ph.D. candidate, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Washington
Susan Fleck
Yoshie Furuhashi, Ohio State University
Sanjeev Galande, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Kaushik Ghosh, Lecturer, South Asian Studies, University of Washington
Venu Madhav Govindu, University of Maryland, College Park
Arjun Guneratne, Dept. of Anthropology, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
Doug Henwood, Left Business Observer, New York
Madelyn Hoffman, Green Party of New Jersey
Fr. Bernard Horzen, O.S.B., St. Bede Academy, Peru, IL
Meera Iyer
Nadeem Jamali, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois-UC
Sangeeta Kamat, Visting Faculty, Brooklyn College, New York
Chetan Kapoor, Ph.D., Associate Director & Chief Scientist, Robotics Research Group, Uni. of Texas, Austin
Priya Kapoor, Asst. Professor, Communication, Portland State University
Amitava Kumar, University of Florida, Gainesville
Guy R. Lanza, Professor and Director, Environmental Sciences Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Samantha Lindsey, University of Washington
Gar W. Lipow, Systems Analyst, Olympia, WA
Bela Liptak, Editor, Environmental Engineers' Handbook
John Magistro, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Manabi Majumdar, Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies
Biju Mathew, Asst. Professor of Business, Rider University, New Jersey
Susan Mayer, Humboldt State University
Raza Mir, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Uday Mohan, PhD student, American University, Washington, DC
Lara Patwardhan, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, CA
Michael Perelman, Economics Department, California State University, Chico
Aravinda Pillalamarri, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mahua Sarkar, Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University
Ashvin A. Shah, Consulting Engineer, New York
Saghir Shaikh, Ph.D., World Sindhi Congress, Sacramento, CA
V. Kripa Sundar
Raja Harish Swamy, Michigan State University
Patricia G. Tosto, Lincoln Park High School, Chicago
Sridhar Venkataraman
Nalini Visvanathan, Committee on Women, Population and the Environment, Amherst, MA
Robert G. White, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Government and Politics, Humboldt State University Hairong Yan, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Washington