Halt construction of dams on India\'s Narmada River

Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of India South Block, New Delhi-110001 INDIA Cc: Ambassador Lalit Mansingh Embassy of India, United States Dear Prime Minister, We, the undersigned, are writing to express our opposition to the Narmada Valley Development Plan, which calls for the construction of thousands of dams of varying sizes along the Narmada River and its tributaries. This plan would severely impact the surrounding environment. By destroying the natural flow of the river, the project would likely cause a decline in fish populations, affecting thousands of families that depend on this food source. In addition, the dam project would submerge thousands of acres of land. For example, according to \"Amnesty International,\" Sardar Sarovar, the largest dam, would alone submerge over 142 square miles of forest and fertile farmland. Some of this forest is important habitat for tigers, panthers, sloth bears, and other rare species. In addition, we are concerned about the human rights impacts of the dam. Hundreds of thousands of people will be displaced if the project is completed. Although, according to the \"Friends of the River Narmada,\" it is the stated policy of the state governments to rehabilitate people with irrigated land for the land they lose, this has not taken place in many cases. For example, according to the \"Free the Narmada Campaign\", the government of Madhya Pradesh \"has no land to rehabilitate 114,000 people displaced by the Bargi dam in 1990.\" In addition, there is a history of abuse against those protesting the dams. According to \"Amnesty International\", peaceful protestors have often been mistreated and harassed. The \"Friends of the River Narmada\" has documented numerous alternatives to the dams that are less ecologically destructive and would involve fewer displacements. According to the \"Free the Narmada Campaign\", if the Sardar Sarovar dam project is restructured so that the dam stays at its current height, \"the money saved

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www.narmada.org

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