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<nettime> Anti-DAM Protest

from: 	NBA Badwani
sent: 	22 April 2000 11:55
to: 	anandwan@nagpur.vsnl.net.in
subject: 	ACTION ALERT



The NY-based Ogden Corporation signed a Memorandum of Intent on March 23 to
take a 49% equity share in the Maheshwar Dam on India's Narmada River. The
project will be a social and economic disaster. If we act together, we can
stop this unjust project.

We urge you to CALL, FAX, or EMAIL OGDEN ON APRIL 25 and tell them to
withdraw from the Maheshwar Dam. Urge them to decline involvement in a
project that will potentially destroy local communities and their


Tell NY-Based Ogden Corp. to Get Out of the Maheshwar Dam Project!

Scott Mackin
President and CEO, Ogden Corp.
tel: 212-868-6000
fax: 212-868-5714
email: scott_mackin@ogden-energy.com

Kent Burton, VP, Policy & Communications, Ogden
tel: 703-246-0833
fax: 703-246-0808
email: kent_burton@ogden-energy.com

Background on the Maheshwar Dam Project

 The dam would affect more than 35,000 farmers, wage laborers, fisher and
crafts people in 61 villages and submerge about 1,100 hectares of rich
agricultural land. Many of these people would lose part or all of their
lands. There is not enough land available to rehabilitate the dispossessed.
The Madhya Pradesh (MP) State Government has admitted that it has no land to
resettle people displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project downstream of
Maheshwar. People displaced by the Bargi and Tawa Dams are still fighting
for resettlement 10 and 25 years, respectively, after the dams were

The affected people, led by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada
Movement), are determined that they will never let the project be built. The
NBA has spearheaded a non-violent movement for 15 years to stop dams on the
river Narmada. Over the last two years, thousands of farmers whose lives and
livelihoods will be destroyed by the Maheshwar Dam have occupied the dam
site nine times, barricaded all roads leading to the dam for three
months,and held mass demonstrations and hunger strikes opposing the dam.

Since its inception, the project has been plagued by financial problems.
Electricity generated by the dam is projected to cost four to five times
more than electricity currently produced by the state of Madhya Pradesh
(MP). The MP Electricity Board, which is supposed to purchase power from the
project, is on the verge of bankruptcy and is likely to default on its
payments. Due to the project's serious financial risks and intense
opposition from local people and Indian and international environmental and
human rights groups, U.S. power utility PacifiCorp backed out of the project
in 1998, and German utilities Bayernwerk and VEW Energie pulled out in April

In 1998, the MP Government had constituted a Task Force to review the
project. As per the recommendations of the Task Force, the MP Government has
decided to halt further construction of other dams on the river Narmada and
look for alternatives. However, it is proceeding with the Maheshwar
project,even though the Task Force report has detailed better and cheaper
alternatives to the Maheshwar Project.

Ogden's involvement in the Project

In December, the people of the Valley wrote to Ogden outlining the problems
with the project and asked Ogden not to proceed with the investment before
visiting the Valley and meeting with the people who will be affected by the
project. Having not received any reply from Ogden, more than 300 newly
elected representatives from the Valley passed a resolution opposing the
project and sent it to Ogden. In spite of this, Ogden signed a Memorandum of
Intent on March 23 to take a 49% equity share in the Maheshwar Dam Project.
Not only were Ogden's representatives not able to meet with and talk with
the affected people, to add salt to the wounds, they also claim that they
visited the villages and that ".. most families we saw were  pleased and
appreciative of the project" .


FOR MORE INFORMATION, visit www.narmada.org or www.irn.org
mail your Quary to : nobigdam@vsnl.com, swong@irn.org

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