Narmada Bachao Andolan is a movement initiated by environmentalists, farmers, tribal people and human rights activists against the construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river in Gujarat. It has become a controversial issue due to the problems in the form of displacement of local people, loss of livelihood, floods, deforestation, etc.
In 1985, after hearing about the Sardar Sarovar dam, Medha Patkar and her colleagues visited the project site and noticed that project work being checked due to an order by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. The reasons for this was cited as “non-fulfillment of basic environmental conditions and the lack of completion of crucial studies and plans”. The people who were going to be affected by the construction of the dam were given no information but the offer for rehabilitation. Villagers weren’t consulted and weren’t asked for a feedback on the assessment that had taken place. Furthermore, the officials related to the project had not even checked the land records and updated them. While World Bank, the financing agency for this project, came into the picture, Patkar approached the Ministry of Environment to seek clarifications. She realized, after seeking answers from the ministry, that the project was not sanctioned at all and wondered as to how funds were even sanctioned by the World Bank. After several studies, they realized that the officials had overlooked the post project problems.
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