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World Environment Day: Dams killing the Ganga?

Jun 05, 2012 11:39 AM IST India India

Garhwal: Even as a government commissioned Green Report recommends the scrapping of 34 dams on the Ganga's tributaries, the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi, construction continues on 300 dams.

Over 300 dams are planned on its various tributaries to generate electricity for a power-hungry nation.

The Dhari Devi temple faces an uneasy future. The 330 megawatt Alaknanda dam may submerge the 17th century temple. At the temple town of Srinagar, the women protest daily under a banyan tree. Their unique protest, they hope, will stop the government from sinking their beloved temple.

It's a question of faith that has evolved over centuries, but just with one stroke, the entire structure of the Dhari Devi temple may be demolished bringing the people and tradition in conflict with each other.

The harm to wildlife is rarely reported. For example, the Kotli-Bhel dam at Devprayag will submerge 1,200 hectares of forest wiping out the river otters, and mahseer, that are found there.

Environmentalists warn that so many dams will kill the Ganga.

Such is the paradox of the Ganga, she is the most revered, but also the most exploited.