Multi-purpose projects and large dams
have also been the cause of many new social
movements like the ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’
and the ‘Tehri Dam Andolan’ etc. Resistance
to these projects has primarily been due to the
large-scale displacement of local communities.
Local people often had to give up their land,
livelihood and their meagre access and control
over resources for the greater good of the
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that mobilised tribal people, adivasis, farmers, environmentalists and human rights activists against the Sardar Sarovar Dam being built across the Narmada river, Gujarat, India.
Their mode of campaign includes hunger strikes and garnering support from noted film and art personalities (notably Bollywood film actor Aamir Khan). Narmada Bachao Andolan, together with its leading spokespersons Medha Patkar and Baba Amte, were the 1991 recipient of the Right Livelihood Award.
The Tehri Dam over the Bhagirathi river in the hills of Uttaranchal state is intended to provide hydro-electric power, irrigation, and drinking water. Andolan means movement.
The dam project was approved in 1972 and construction was started in 1978. The Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) was constituted in 1989 to supervise the construction of the dam. The main dam of the project is built near the old Tehri town that lies at the confluence of the rivers Bhagirathi, (one of the major tributary of the river Ganga) and Bhilangana. The main dam will produce 2000 MW of electricity when completed. However, only the Phase-I with capacity of 1000 MW is approved at present. There is another smaller dam 14 km downstream at Koteshwar that will produce 400 MW of electricity. The main reservoir comprises an area of 42 kmē. This will sink the old Tehri town and 112 villages around the town, thereby displacing more than 100,000 people.
There is much protest because people have to be moved and a city will disappear. See a link below from a traveler.
Tehri Dam was built initially with Soviet aid; a German agency now backs the loans for the hydro-electric equipment that is being installed.