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The Sardar Sarovar Dam

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The Dam on river Narmada was meant for the welfare of four
states namely-Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and
The agreement of sharing and using water by the four states were
defined by the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) in 1979.
Under this award, Gujarat was allocated 11,000 Mm representing
about one-third of the 75 percent dependable usable annual water
flow, and was authorized to implement a project comprising:
(i) the Sardar Sarovar Dam,
(ii) a 1,200 megawatt (MW) riverbed powerhouse (RBPH),
(iii) a 250 MW canal head powerhouse (CHPH),
(iv) a canal system to irrigate 1.87 m. ha in Gujarat and 70,000 ha
in Rajasthan, and
(v) a water supply system for about 30 million people in the
droughtprone areas of Saurashtra and Kachchh.

Narmada River

The Narmada River

Narmada means ever-delightful, one of the holiest rivers in the

country of India
they say that even the site of the river will cleanse all of your sins

The Narmada river

It is the largest westward flowing river in India.

The Narmada river The people

It is home to over a million

people, mainly tribal people,
Adivasi (original dwellers)
whose grandparents lived on
and farmed the land.

Local farmers, wage laborers,

craftspeople and fishermen
live along the river and rely on
it for their livelihood.

The Narmada Dam Project

The first of the dams to be built is the Sardar Sarovar. It is
considered to be one of the most important dams in the
project and the biggest water development project in India
According to the government, the Sardar Sarovar Dam will
do the following:
Provide safe drinking water to 30 million people
Irrigate 4.8 million hectares of land
Produce 550 megawatts of power
Provide 1,300 cubic-meters of water per year for
municipal and industrial purposes
Provide a drainage system to carry away floodwaters
It will also take the land of 320,000 people

The Narmada Dam Project

Why the Narmada Dam?

Currently in India:
1/5 of pop. (200 million people) are without safe
drinking water
2/3 of pop. (600 million people) lack basic sanitation
2/5 of pop. (350 million people) live below the poverty
With rain being sporadic because of rainy seasons and
variations between different parts of the country, the
idea of storing river water in reservoirs behind dams
seemed to be a great solution

The Sardar Sarovar Dam

Initial Budget(1986-87) Rs 6,400 cr

Investors are the World Bank until 1993 (when they withdrew), Gov.
of Gujarat (state where the Sardar Sarovar dam is located) and
S.Kumars (Indias leading textile companies)

Expenditure so far Rs 14,000 cr

Projected Total cost Rs 24,000 cr

Cost of main canal Rs 4,000 cr

Villages submerged 14

Families displaced 4,600

Irrigation for 1.91 million hectares

Drinking water for 8,200 villages, 135 towns

Other factS

It will displace 180,000 people more than projected and affect

700,000 livelihoods
3,200 dams to be built along 1,200km Narmada river.
Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan were likely to
benefit from this project.
Opponents says the DAM will displace 200,000 people and
damage ecology.
It is estimated that the project would be fully complete by 2025.


Save the Narmada Movement

Established in 1989
Sept 1989 aprox.60,000 people rally against
destructive development
Jan 1990 5,000 people marched on the Narmada
Valley Development authority offices forcing them to
March 1990 10,000 protesters blocked the highway
from Bombay for two days
May 1990 2,000 people staged a sit-in outside the
prime ministers house in Delhi

Save the Narmada Movement

Christmas Day 1990 Long March 3,000 people walked
100km, which took a week to the dam site and 6 others went on a
hunger strike demanding the government suspend work on the
dam and hold an independent review. It lasted 22 days until they
broke fast this made Narmada an international issue.
Jan 1991 The World Bank commissions independent review

Indian Government supports the building of dams.
The World Bank supported the Sardar Sarovar Dam
Project and loaned India $450 million. They withdrew
from the project after an independent review confirmed
social and environmental impacts were increasing.
Supreme court gave stay order & directed the states to
complete rehabilitation process.
In 2000, Supreme court gave the final verdict of
completion of construction according to its original scale.

Dalits and Adivasi (indigenous people). In accordance to
their caste system they are often referred to as untouchables.
Many of these people are uneducated and very few can read and

NBA was started by a social worker named Medha Patkar.

She is the representative for the NBA movement.



LEADERS [Opponents]
Baba Amte; a social worker whose work with leprosy
has earned him much respect in the country among the
tribal people and government officials.
Arundhati Roy; Booker Prize-winning author
supporter of the Save the Narmada Movement; wrote a
book about the Dams in India called The Greater
Common Good.
Nobody builds Big Dams to provide drinking water to
rural people. Nobody can afford to.
There's a lot of money in poverty . - Arundhati Roy

Their principal ground of

Non fulfillment of basic environmental conditions
Insufficient plans & studies
Local inhabitants not being taken into confidence
Insufficient compensation


1. Overwhelmed low
rainfall, unreliable
monsoon, long dry
2. Difficulties also
overcame by

3. Create new ecosystems

e.g. Reservoirs can be build and used economically
Large water
bodies shall be
created as a
result of various
dams being
constructed on
the river
Narmada & its

The reservoirs would, therefore, offer tremendous opportunities

for fisheries development which would ultimately benefit the
fishermen socially and economically in the respective areas.

Spoilage TO THE

Flooded and
good lands

2. Drowning

3. Reservoirs may silt up quickly

4. Salinisation
Soils may become saline in desert areas i.e. No new farming
would be sustainable
Of the total area to be irrigated
by Sardar Sarovar, only 40% is
classified as "suitable" and
"very suitable" for irrigation.
The remaining 60%, had more
or less severe problems related
to high salt content in the soil
impacting the flora and fauna
and the groundwater making
the water not suitable for

5. Threat to aquatic habitat Barriers for fish passage,

water quality is affected because of change in land use. It
can also affect aquatic life.

6. Water logging Excess water in the soil can render the

soil useless. This could affect 40% of the area to be

Why did the World Bank withdraw

the loan?

It was a protest by the NBA

called 'satyagraha' that caught
the World Banks attention.

They sent in an independent

review team headed by Hugh
Body, a British anthropologist
and Donald Gamble, a Canadian
environmental engineer.

However, India has already

received $250 million from the
World Bank and is legally
obligated towards the Bank to
carry out its obligations under
the loan agreement.

Supreme Court's

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

PROMISES OF Resettlement

While the pictures of the new settlements

look like an improvement, they are

The resettlement agency showed the same

town to tribal people who were considering
being relocated.

For those that resign to move, will be taken

to a completely different town with no
amenities promised, if there are any houses
available at all

The other option is to take a cash payment

for what their land is worth, which
oftentimes is not enough to buy other
property and goes to food for survival

Old school

New school

FAILURE OF Resettlement plan

Not enough resettlement sites have been set up for the
amount of people already displaced.
The sites that have been set up have no electricity, no
water, no farming, and no fruit or trees.

So where do the people go?

They move to the outskirts of the

city where they try to get work as
laborers and live on less than $1 a

They go back to their old town by

the river and hope that their
houses have not been destroyed by

What about the people with no water?

Millions of people are affected by water

shortages in Gujarat.

Twenty years ago people relied on wells,

but the wells are now dry.

Agribusiness and industry are drilling

ever deeper tube wells to find water,
which is causing the water level to
decrease by about 4ft every year.

Currently, certain towns of Gujarat, are

dependant on emergency water supplies
from the government

Current status of the


The Spillway of Sardar Sarovar

Dam is raised upto its crest level
of 121.92 m

Construction of Irrigation Bye

Pass Tunnel [IBPT] is completed.

Preconstruction activities of
Garudeshwar weir has been taken

Protests are a regular occurrence

and they will continue to do so
until the dam was stopped
But,Over all construction
completed in 2016.


Thank you