Need to decommission old dams: Gadgil

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 5 September 2018

“Konkan will be devastated not by flood water, but if we go ahead with nuclear energy projects like Nanar. Such projects are slowly poisoning the people of Konkan,” said renowned environmentalist Madhav Gadgil.

PUNE: “Konkan will be devastated not by flood water, but if we go ahead with nuclear energy projects like Nanar. Such projects are slowly poisoning the people of Konkan,” said renowned environmentalist Madhav Gadgil while delivering a lecture on ‘Today Kerala, tomorrow Konkan’, organised by Vanrai, here on Tuesday.

He further cautioned that to avoid the devastating floods in the future, there is an urgent need of decommissioning older dams in Kerala and other states too. He said that there have been reports made which clearly mentions that if projects like Nanar or any other nuclear energy projects come up in Konkan, then surely, the region will be devastated.

“The entire society has been the victim of the scheming nature of people and Kerala floods is the best example of this. As per my knowledge, the meteorological department and irrigation department officials had conveyed to the State government about impounding rains and need to release the water from the dams into the river. Both these officials started sending the recommendations to the government since last week of July, but it was grossly ignored,” he said.

The irrigation officials had to open the gates of almost all the eight dams at once, which led to such devastating floods,” he said adding “Had been the warnings by the officials had been heeded, there would have been less loss.”

“It is important to note that the one of the dams which was built to generate electricity is a complete failure. The dam not only failed to generate electricity but it also delocated the tribals and destroyed the entire ecology there,” he said. 

Similarly, while building any dam, stone quarries are needed and it gives way for mining which further deteriorates the ecology, he said giving an example of how development can be achieved hand in hand with nature. 

He gave an example of some tribal women of Gadchiroli who stopped the stone quarries of outside people and they took up the stone quarrying without disturbing the ecological balance. He said that we first need to define development and then should think about what kind of development we need.

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