|Ganges - Varanasi|
"Having commissioned the Tehri dam as the irrigation and environment minister of Uttar Pradesh, I have no qualms in saying that it was the biggest mistake of my life" Samajwadi Party MP Rewati Ramn Singh said, and he said also, "the then Union environment minister Maneka Gandhi was opposed to this project, but we were somehow led to believe that the Tehri dam would generate 2,400 MW of electricity and irrigate 1.67 lakh hectares in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Nothing of this sort happened. Not even 400 MW of electricity is being generated. I'm reminded of the words of social reformer Madan Mohan Malviya, then the whole of north India will be destroyed."
And yet, as Brijesh Pandey complaints on Tehelka, "the Ganga is in serious danger from 600 dams that are either operatiional, under construction or proposed. These dams will not only obstruct the river's natural flow and divert water into tunnels to power turbines, but will also have cascading effect on the livelihood of communities and the biodiversity and stability of the sorrounding natural ecosystems."
The river will remain tunnelled continuously for 130 km up to Dharasu near Uttarkashi.
"The Tehri dam - the biggest mistake of minister Singh - which has submerged thousands of acres and hundreds of villages and displaced thausands of people, is threatening to flood 75 more villages as dam authorities have raised the water level in the reservoir to 830 m from the original 820 m.
The most revered of Indian rivers is under threat, not only because human and industrial pollution, but also because the construction of massive dams.