[Imc-india]call for action
rajani.m at wildmail.com
Mon Jan 16 19:26:24 PST 2006
This is regarding the proposed construction of the Athirapally Dam in Kerala. This project will destroy the entire environment, forests, displace tribals, upset the already abused river, affect irrigation, etc.
One way to stop this project is to apply pressure on the elected representatives.
The stone laying ceremony was slated for the end of Nov 2005.... but has been pushed back. The project has now gone to cabinet committee for funding correction (http://www.hindu.com/2005/12/31/stories/2005123113420100.htm)
So this gives us a bit more time to register our protest. The contents of my petition are pasted below.... do read it, and if you are convinced go to the link and sign it. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/514218385
I am hoping to raise a lakh signatures... although something tells me that its a near impossible target... but ..... its worth every effort!!
so... I am counting on all my friends to... pitch in and send this mail out to their friends and.... kick some dust!! please find a little time for this.
Athirapally Dam: Action Alert
The proposed Athirapally Dam project plans to violate all rules and
regulations of environment, forests, tribals, science and ecology when it
comes to proposing an infrastructure project - that too a critical one like
Please keep in mind that the HEP is situated in the Chalakudy river which is
144 kms long and the fifth largest river in Kerala. This river has been
hugely dammed already for power generation as there are already six dams for
power generation and one dam for irrigation (irrigating an area of 14,000
For more details about the dangers of this project.You can refer to
Sanctuary Asia link on the subject:
1. At least five lakh people from 19 panchayaths and two municipalities
depend on the river for livelihood, irrigation and drinking water purpose.
Once this dam comes up it will directly and indirectly affect these people
as the flow of the river gets blocked and stymied.
2. Hundreds of tribals make their home in the river basin. They belong to
an endemic tribe called 'Kadar'. They have been living here for hundreds of
years and are not settlers like we are in major cities. They will be thrown
out (our governments calls it easily as relocated) and with our corruput
officials having a field day with respect to displacement money
3. The famous Vazhachal and Athirappilly waterfalls visited by about 6 lakh
people every year will be wiped out by the project. This will be a huge loss
of tourist money for local economy and for Kerala's famed tourism industry.
Kerala's backbone is tourism and if good tourist spots are destroyed then
how will tourists come to Kerala??
1. The submergence area ,part of Vazhachal forest division is the home to
the endangered Tiger, Asiatic Elephant , Great Indian Hornbill, Malabar
Giant Squirrel, Gaur, Lion Tailed Macaque,Nilgiri Langur and Cochin Forest
Cane Turtle and the unique niche specific riparian forests. It is also
ironic that while govts. across the world are trying to save endemic
species, Kerala seems to be in a hurry to destroy it.
2. The EIA has not done any scientific study of the ecological problems of
submergence of the only remaining riparian forests at this altitude(200-300
mean sea level) in the entire Western Ghats.
3. The vital elephant corridor between the Parambikulam Sanctuary and the
Pooyamkutty forests will also be affected as vast areas will be submerged.
4. Around 138.60 hectare of forest land will be diverted to KSEB for dam
construction. This is roughly 13993083 SQ FT. Say if you are living in 1000
Sq Ft home, the loss of forest is like 15,000 homes like yours!!!!
Power generation angle:
1. The proposed HEP would depend only on the tail race waters of
Poringalkuthu (commissioned in 1958) HEP for power generation( 8x4=32 MW).
Based on the past 22 yrs stream flow data , People's School of Energy, a
research team of engineers from Kannur has calculated that electricity can
be generated maximum of 20% of the planned generation from December to peak
summer period. So the claim for peak load generation of 163 MW in itself is
2. With rainfall plunging 20% than expected, as many as 15 hydroelectric
projects produced only 4,314 MU in 2003-04 compared to 7,305 million units
(MU) of electricity in 1998-99. Considering that Kerala gets almost 60 per
cent of its power from Tamil Nadu and other states, under-performing
hydroelectric projects mean severe economic loss.
3. With rapid destruction of forest lands and due to climatic patterns,
Kerala once regarded very safe for water is now struggling with repetitive
droughts. Evidence: Kerala had an estimated forest cover of 44.4 per cent
in 1900. Independent studies and satellite images show the forest cover came
down to 14.7 per cent in 1983 and is 9 per cent now. But the state
government, which regards plantations as forests, says the cover is 27 per
4. The proposed 160MW is less than 3-5% of Kerala's current electricity
production. This amount of power can be easily generated by sustainable wind
farms, solar power, prevention of theft of power, cutting down transmission
loss, etc, etc. Constructing a dam on an important river without even doing
a proper EIA is the most unscientific way to generate power.
False logic of KSEB:
Ministry of Environment & Forest (MoEF) had repeatedly rejected this project
because it will destroy the world famous water falls in Athirapally. But
somehow KSEB has got the nod by claiming that these waterfalls will be
maintained by constructing a dam toe power house of 3MW capacity.
KSEB is the only company in the entire world that generates power as a
special segment in order to maintain a natural waterfall after destroying
the waterfall, the forests and local ecology!!!
If this power house operated from 6 am-6pm to maintain the waterfalls, the
water left in the reservoir for power generation from 6pm-6am is anybody
Electricity is important for everybody. And there are good alternatives.
1. Use of solar power. Your govt can make it mandatory to have solar water
heater, solar panels for electricity to tubelights,fans, TV's, etc in all
medium and high income households, hospitals, businesses, etc.
2. Use of wind power. Like Tamilnadu, your Govt can tap the enormous wind
power that is available in Kerala.
3.Conservation of power. KSEB can run a high profile 'save electricity'
campaign. Please note that 'Electricity saved is electricity produced'.
4. Charging more for high volume users so that they carefully use
5. Kerala's loss in transmission and distribution is over 30%. This can be
bought down dramatically resulting in power savings.
6. Crack down on power theft. This can result in substantial power savings.
With respect to above points, we strongly urge you to drop the project. Let
us not destroy Kerala forests which are the source of numerous rivers of
Kerala, in name of 'development'.
If we don't act carefully now, our future generations will not tolerate us
for the abuse that we have perpetuated on our environment.
Care2 make the world greener!
Trophy hunters can write off canned hunts and big game safaris at taxpayers'
expense - help end this cruelty loophole: http://go.care2.com/66836
http://www.Care2.com Free e-mail. 100MB storage. Helps nonprofits.
More information about the Imc-india