• Tribal Resistance Gains Momentum Against Ganjal Moran Dam in MP

    Located in the Narmada valley, it will submerge at least 10 villages inhabited by the tribal Korku community

    Sumedha Pal

    June 24, 2019

    Despite the change of guard in Madhya Pradesh, development projects that threaten the lives of the indigenous population of the state are still going strong. In its latest attempt, the Congress government has shown a green flag to the Ganjal Moran dam project.

    The mammoth dam project is estimated to cost the state government approximately Rs. 2,813 crores, with a command area of approximately 52,000 hectares to be irrigated by the twin dams at Morand and Ganjal. The proposed project is aimed at benefiting total 4,617 ha of land in 28 villages of Hoshangabad, 17,678 ha of land in 62 villages of Harsud tehsil in district Khandwa, and 29,910 ha of agriculture land in 121 villages of Harda, Khirkiya, Sirali and Rahatgaon tehsils of Harda district. The proposed project and initiation of surveys for land acquisition have led the Korku Adivasis to fear for their future.

    “There is fear, anxiety and uncertainty that has gripped us, we have seen so many people go from having homes and livelihoods to have to wander on the streets and start a life of a labourer – all in the name of development. We can’t let this happen to us,” said Harish Sahu of the Synergy group, who is a part of the mobilisation efforts by the tribals against corporate interests in the region. The Korku Adivasis on the ground are organising themselves in small collectives to spread awareness about the repercussions of the project. Reportedly, at least 10 villages are to be submerged following the construction of the dam, with no concrete measures being taken to rehabilitate the tribal population.

    Harish said, “On the ground, we are now seeing that the tribals are forming small collectives to reach out to the community and give a message of unity. We are all uniting against the collector right now and massive protests over this issue are being planned.”

    The proposed project will be located at the Morand river in Halda district. Approximately, 4,000 acres of land is to be affected in the Hoshanabad district, spanning over 28 villages, 62 villages in the Khandwa Harood district. Over 100 villages covering about 29,000 hectares in Harda, Sirali and Khirkiya too will face repercussions if the project is implemented successfully.

    The project will be constructed in three phases. Construction of Morand dam under first phase and construction of canal under second phase will take place. Both the canals coming out from the dam will be in the form of underground pipes which will provide irrigation facility through underground canal system. Construction of Ganjal dam is proposed to take place in third phase.

    “There is fear, anxiety and uncertainty that has gripped us, we have seen so many people go from having homes and livelihoods to have to wander on the streets and start a life of a labourer – all in the name of development. We can’t let this happen to us,” said Harish Sahu of the Synergy group, who is a part of the mobilisation efforts by the tribals against corporate interests in the region. The Korku Adivasis on the ground are organising themselves in small collectives to spread awareness about the repercussions of the project. Reportedly, at least 10 villages are to be submerged following the construction of the dam, with no concrete measures being taken to rehabilitate the tribal population.

    Harish said, “On the ground, we are now seeing that the tribals are forming small collectives to reach out to the community and give a message of unity. We are all uniting against the collector right now and massive protests over this issue are being planned.”

    The proposed project will be located at the Morand river in Halda district. Approximately, 4,000 acres of land is to be affected in the Hoshanabad district, spanning over 28 villages, 62 villages in the Khandwa Harood district. Over 100 villages covering about 29,000 hectares in Harda, Sirali and Khirkiya too will face repercussions if the project is implemented successfully.

    The project will be constructed in three phases. Construction of Morand dam under first phase and construction of canal under second phase will take place. Both the canals coming out from the dam will be in the form of underground pipes which will provide irrigation facility through underground canal system. Construction of Ganjal dam is proposed to take place in third phase.

    *This is a developing story.


     

    First published in Newsclick.

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