Saturday, August 27

Write to President

Dear Friends,

On the eve of our nation's 59th Independence Day, President Kalam urged for a quick completion of the Interlinking Rivers (ILR) Project.
We urge you to write him a letter at the earliest expressing your alarm. Important points to include in your letter are:
1. The process of review is flawed - to date only two feasibility reports have been published despite the SC ordering the Centre to make all completed feasibility reports publicly available.
2. There will be mass displacement, especially of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes. Within the Ken-Betwa link, 6 dams are planned!
There are a total of 30 links planned, each with multiple dams and reservoirs. Displacement also occurs due to the canals, and environmental mitigation strategies such as compensatory afforestation or the creation of sanctuaries. Downstream communities also experience negative impacts in terms of livelihoods.
3. There are many known adverse environmental impacts such as waterlogging and salination of soils, submergence of forests and loss of riverine ecosystems.
4. The costs of such a project are enormous, estimated to be Rs. 560,000 crores. This will be an underestimate, as almost all projects in India have suffered cost overruns.
5. There are cheaper, more sustainable alternatives such as rainwater harvesting, micro-irrigation or alternative farming methods such as SRI for rice.
Please get as many signatories to your letter as possible and circulate. We will do the same.

The President's Address is:

Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Rashtrapati Bhawan,
New Delhi, 110004

Fax: +91 11 3017290, 3014570
Emailto:presidentofindia(at), presidentofindia(at)


Medha Patkar
Narmada Bachao Andolan
National Alliance of Peoples' Movements

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