Maheshwar Dam

In early 2006, after a gap of five years, work on one of the largest planned dams in the Narmada valley - the long-contested 400MW Maheshwar Hydropower Project - had resumed, only to be stopped again by the Indian federal government in June 2006. The dam would submerge the fertile lands and homes of 100,000 people. On June 9, 2006, the government ruled that all construction on the dam must cease immediately.Human rights and water activists hope that this is the final nail in the coffin of the Maheshwar project. Resistance to the dam has always been fierce. Thousands of farmers, laborers and fishers have repeatedly occupied the construction site. Meanwhile, International Rivers, Urgewald, the NBA and other human rights groups have successfully persuaded western financial institutions not to lend money to build the dam. In an important victory for the struggling people of the Narmada valley, German multinational company Siemens and the German Hypovereinsbank withdrew from the project in 2000. At that time, Chittaroopa Palit from the NBA exclaimed: "The affected people of the Narmada valley are resolved to continue and intensify their struggle until this destructive project is completely stopped and the cheaper, better, and less socially and environmentally destructive energy and water alternatives are put in its place."

Due to the successful civil society agitation against the project, it was held up since 2001. The private company building the project, Shree Maheshwar Hydro Power Corporation Ltd, was not able to secure sufficient funding for the project, with important foreign companies distancing themselves from the controversial dam.

In mid-2006, Shree Maheshwar Hydro Power Corporation Ltd was reported to have made new attempts to organize finances for the project, including from Indian public sources.


Death of the Zombie Dam. Again.
International Rivers press release on the end of construction activities at Maheshwar dam site.
An Independent Review Conducted for the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development
An independent report on the resettlement and rehabilitation issues of the dam commissioned by the German government.
Die Praxis der Umsiedlung: Das Beispiel des Maheshwar-Damms in Indien
A summary (in German) of the Independent Review Conducted for the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
Public Protest and Fast by Maheshwar Dam Oustees in Mumbai
A May 2006 press release about the protest against the construction of Maheshwar Dam from the Narmada Bachao Andolan.