Silent valley movement

Silent valley movement ‡It was a social movement aimed at the protection of Silent valley, an evergreen
tropical forest in the Palakkad district of Kerala, India. ‡ Silent Valley, occupying an area of 8950 hectares at an altitude of 3000 feet in Palaghat district of Kerala, is perhaps, the only remaining undisturbed tropical rainforest in Indian peninsula. ‡This tropical rain forest in Western ghats is a precious reservoir of biodiversity where many plant and animal species have survived for centuries. ‡ In the 1960 s the state government began planning a dam to generate hydroelectricity as the basis for regional economic development ‡It was started in 1973 to save the Silent Valley Reserve Forest in from being flooded by a hydroelectric project. ‡The government eventually abandoned the project in 1983 and the valley was declared as in Silent Valley National Park 1985.

‡Because of concern about the endangered lion-tailed macaque. ‡This ecologically fragile area storing rich stock of biodiversity has been declared as biosphere reserve and now is under category of Hot Spot. .the home to many rare and unique species of plants and animals. the controversy of the proposed hydel project was over in 1979 . Kerala Nature History Society and other NGOs. ‡ It was declared as a National Park by the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985. ‡ It was opposed by many NGOs and environmentalists as it could cause serious damage to this 'cradle of evolution'. the issue was brought to public attention.‡ The valley project was proposed to fetch the need of electricity and irrigation to the people of an area. History of the silent Valley movement ‡ With the intervention of Friends of Trees society .

Silent valley movement The Silent Valley movement was the first important environmental agitation in the country and has become a text book example of successful mass movements. .

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India.y Narmada Bachao Andolan is social movement consisting of tribal people. Gujarat. farmers. adivasis. . environmentalists and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the Narmada river.

Gujarat and Maharashtra. 30 major. y As per the Tribunal's decision. On December 12. were granted approval for construction including raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam . the decision as given by the Tribunal. investigations were carried out to evaluate mechanisms in utilizing water from the Narmada river .which flows into the Arabian Sea after passing through the states of Madhya Pradesh. This Tribunal investigated the matters referred to it and responded after more than 10 years. and 3000 small dams. the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal was constituted by the Government of India on October 6. 1979. 1969 to adjudicate over the water disputes. with all the parties at dispute binding to it. was released by the Indian Government.Background y Post-1947. 135 medium. Due to inter-state differences in implementing schemes and sharing of water.

after hearing about the Sardar Sarovar dam. Medha Patkar and her colleagues visited the project site and noticed the project work being shelved due to an order by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.y In 1985. Government of India. the villagers had many questions right from why their permission was not taken to whether a good assessment on the ensuing destruction was taken. y What she noticed was that the people who were going to be affected were given no information. y The reasons for this was cited as "non-fulfillment of basic environmental conditions and the lack of completion of crucial studies and plans". Due to this. . but for the offer for rehabilitation.

While World Bank. the financing agency for this project. and wondered as to how funds were even sanctioned by the World Bank. Patkar approached the Ministry of Environment to seek clarifications. . she provided critiques to the project authorities and the governments involved. y Through Patkar's channel of communication between the government and the residents. that the project was not sanctioned at all. after seeking answers from the ministry. At the same time. they realized that the officials had overlooked the post-project problems. After several studies. She realized.y Furthermore. came into the picture. her group realized that all those displaced were only given compensation for the immediate standing crop and not for displacement and rehabilitation. the officials related to the project had no answers to their questions.

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y As Patkar remained immersed in the Narmada struggle. who according to Patkar were "caning the marchers and arresting them and tearing the clothes off women activists". she organized a 36-day long. . solidarity march among the neighboring states of the Narmada valley from Madhya Pradesh to the Sardar Sarovar dam site. D. studies and focus entirely on the Narmada activity. y She said that the march was "a path symbolizing the long path of struggle . she chose to quit her Ph. y Thereafter.This march was resisted by the police.

y In 1991. appointed in June 1991 at the recommendation of The World Bank President Barber Coinable.In response. The Morse Commission. her actions led to an unprecedented independent review y y y y by the World Bank. . This resulted in the Indian Government pulling out of its loan agreement with the World Bank. The World Bank's participation in these projects was eventually cancelled in 1995. the World Bank would eventually would have withdrawn the loan. This independent review stated that "performance under these projects has fallen short of what is called for under Bank policies and guidelines and the policies of the Government of India. conducted its first independent review of a World Bank project. Patkar said "It is very clear and obvious that they used this as a face-saving device". suggesting that if this were not to happen.

"Every endeavour shall be made to see that the project is completed as expeditiously as possible y The Supreme Court also deliberated on this issue further for several . subject to conditions.Supreme Court's decision y Patkar led Narmada Bachao Andolan had filed a written petition with the Supreme Court of India. The court initially ruled the decision in the Andolan's favor thereby effecting an immediate stoppage of work at the dam and directing the concerned states to first complete the rehabilitation and replacement process. has paved the way for completing the project to attain full envisaged benefits. years but finally upheld the Tribunal Award and allowed the construction to proceed. the nation's apex court. The court introduced a mechanism to monitor the progress of resettlement pari passu with the raising of the height of the dam through the Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRA) in each of the party states. The court's final line of the order states. given in the year 2000 after seven years of deliberations. The court s decision referred in this document. seeking stoppage of construction on the Sardar Sarovar dam.

it could assume the role of vigilant observer to see that the resettlement work is as humane and painless as possible and that the environmental aspects are taken due care of. after the court verdict it is incumbent on it to adopt a new role. But. Instead of 'damning the dam' any longer." .y Subsequent to the court s verdict. Press Information Bureau (PIB) featured an article which states that: y "The Narmada Bachao Andolan has rendered a yeoman's service to the country by creating a highlevel of awareness about the environmental and rehabilitation and relief aspects of Sardar Sarovar and other projects on the Narmada.

the campaign led by the NBA activists has held up the project's completion. .Criticism y The Narmada dam's benefits include provision of drinking water. y Others have argued that the Narmada Dam protesters are little more than environmental extremists who use pseudoscientific agitprop to scuttle the development of the region. power generation and irrigation facilities. and the NBA supporters have indulged in physical attacks on local people who accepted compensation for moving. However. and that the dam will provide agricultural benefits to millions of poor in India.

Bishnoi movement Bishnois 1st environmentalists of India .

Background y Year 1470 severe drought in a village called Pipasar of Rajasthan y Man called Jambeshwar realized that the land was not able to withstand the destruction from draught as large no. followed by his disciples known as BISHNOIs Prohibition of killing of any animal/bird and y 2 important principles felling of a green tree . of trees had been felled y Preached importance of conserving the environmental elements y Guru Maharaj Jambaji proposed 29 principles.

as the massacre continued . the neighboring village folk clung to the trees. Agitated by the happenings. the soldiers of king of Jodhpur tried to cut trees in a Bishnoi village of Khejadali so that a new place may be built for the king.y The unique religion of conservation was taken up by a large number of people in Rajasthan and the number of Bishnois increased to the entire village communities. y This helped to make villages greener and restore the natural ecosystems. Their heads were severed too. But true of their religion. her daughters clung to them. Seeing their mother lay down her life for the trees. the Bishnois hugged the trees to protect them. y The Bishnois tried to reason with them and stop them but in vain. Vegetation naturally helped to recharge the ground water y About 300 years after this religion was founded. Her head was severed. y Amrita Devi Bishnoi who refused to let the kingsmen cut the trees.

y The soldiers attacked them to overcome the protest and 363 Bishnois were killed. he was overcome by people's devotion. He ordered his men to withdraw. gave the religion state sanction and ensured that the wishes of Bishnois were respected in future. y When the king heard of this massacre and the unique religion. y Amrita Devi Bishnoi Smrithi Paryavaran Award awarded by GoI for contributing to environment conservation .

Black Bucks. to combat the severe drought and water shortage. This water is not only for humans but animals too y To minimize the use of green trees. The Bishnoi settlements are made from material gathered locally and most eco-friendly measures are taken to build their abode y They do not fell trees. they use cow dung cakes as fuel for cooking . the Bishnois build water storage tanks that can collect and store rain water. Blue Bulls. Chinkaras.Bishnois way of Life y Bishnois do not cut green trees and are compassionate to all living beings. Even a carpenter waits patiently for the tree to fall y Deers. Peacocks. They only collect dead wood. are some of the animals that you would find roaming around their settlements y Long before Rain Harvesting concept caught fire.

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