Construction of hydropower dams has recently drawn the ire of India’s holy men. Saints in Nort India along the sacred ganges river have recently begun protests to stop the construction of giant hydro electric dams.
Swami Avimukteshwar, one of the saints leading the protests, says, “We can live without electricity, but you cannot live without water. Pure and clean water is the most vital and essential commodity that society needs. This giant dams are polluting Indias natural water sources and destroying the eco systems in the himalaya mountain ranges. It is a great sin to block the ganges in the name of development. India society and civilization is built on the ganges.”
Recently work on two other dams along the ganges river have been stopped after Hindu organizations protested the damage these dams would have to the environment and ecosystem. The government will still decide on whether to restart those projects or whether to permanently cancel them.
Major factories in India, that manufcature cars and motorcycles have petitioned the governemnt of India to increase electrical capacity, as their manufacturing plants are forced to rely on internal generators to produce electricty during the summer months.
According to the world back, India is set to run out of sufficient water resources by the year 2050. COnstruction of more hydro-electric dams will further increase the water shortage, as rivers will become polluted and will not be usable by the population. The government has recently been looking at the environmental impact that dam projects have on the local ecology. Additionally, these dams also displace entire villages, and require the government to rehabilitate displaced people.
Despite all of the pressure, the government still plans to build 300 dams in the Himalayas over the next 15 years, which will irrevocably alter the environment and ecology of the region.