Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Narmada, and AID

There is a very common belief that AID is opposed to the Sardar Sarovar Project. There are two mistakes in that idea.

1. AID does not have an official stand on the usefulness of the dam. We do, however, officially oppose the lackadaisical nature of the rehabilitation efforts, criticize the hardships that the affected people have been put through. There are documentations to corroborate these. There are big gaps in the practical implementation of the rehab measures. We do not believe that it is allowable to sacrifice the livelihood of some people, so others may live better. That is exploitation of the weak - not development. But yes, a big majority of AIDers do hold the individual view that the project is a wrong-headed idea.

2. No AIDer claims that no one will benefit from the dam. Sure, there will be villages that will become green. But, what at what cost? How many already green villages have we sunk in this? Now, if u ask the beneficiary alone, obviously, u would get only positive feedback. That is what this article that Carl posted does. To form a fair and informed opinion, one needs to see both sides. After doing so, I have, over the years, come to believe that the government is wrong in this issue.

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