India – Holy River Power

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According to the Indian government, hydroelectricity should guarantee 40 per cent of India’s energy needs. Concrete has flooded the Himalaya valleys. Even along the Ganges, the Holy River of Hindu people, hundreds of dams and hydropower plants have been built by both public and private hydroelectric companies. Either HP plants’ low efficiency or their dramatic socio-environmental impact have not been able to arrest the hydroelectric lobby. Himalayan valleys inhabitants – peasants and farmers living in ancestral harmony with Nature –fight to preserve their ecosystem against “development”.

 

Hindu pilgrims at the Triveni Sangam, where Yamuna river and Saraswati (invisible) river join Ganges riverGanges river close to his source (this river stretch is known as Bhagirathi)Hindu pilgrims on Ganges river at VaranasiNepali workers collecting bricks in the villages flooded by Theri dam on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverGanga Aarti ceremony, HaridwarManeri-Bhali II dam on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverFamous scientist and Hindu religious leader, Guru das Agrawal 38 days fasting succeeded in stopping hydropower projects close to Ganges river sourceHindu pilgrims at VaranasiPilot baba fake ashram on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverDuring the Ganga Aarti in HaridwarGanges river at VaranasiBalefires at Varanasi funeral ghatManeri-Bhali I dam on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverChinnyalisaur bridge, flooded by Theri dam on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverPraying into Ganges river at HaridwarKapil Muni temple during Makar Sankranti, the annual pilgrimage at Gangasagar, the island at Ganges river deltaEvery year on the day of Makar Sankranti (14 January), hundreds of thousands of Hindus gather to take a holy dip at Gangasagar, where Ganges river come into Bay of BengalKoteshwar hydropower plant on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverGanges river at HaridwarThe temple close to Maneri-Bhali I dam on Bhagirathi (Ganges) riverPilgrims at the Triveni Sangam, where Yamuna river and Saraswati (invisible) river join Ganges riverSadhu blessing people during Makar Sankranti at GangasagarHindus taking a holy dip at the confluence of Ganga river and Bay of Benga (Gangasagar) during Makar SankrantiHindu pilgrims at the Triveni SangamBalefires at Varanasi funeral ghatProf Veer Bhadra Mishra, founding president of the Sankat Mochan Foundation in VaranasiOne of the tunnels of Loharinag-Pala hydroelectric project

Il cemento degli impianti idroelettrici ha inondato le valli dell’Himalaya. Nei piani del governo indiano l’idroelettrica dovrà coprire il 40% del fabbisogno energetico nazionale. Anche il Gange non è stato risparmiato dall’ondata di cemento: lungo il corso del fiume sacro agli Hindu, sono state costruite centinaia di dighe da compagnie idroelettriche pubbliche e private. La scarsa efficienza dimostrata finora dagli impianti già in funzione e il loro devastante impatto socio-ambientale, non sembrano sufficienti ad arrestare la lobby dell’idroelettrica. Gli abitanti delle valli himalayane colpite – agricoltori e allevatori, tribù indigene che vivono in simbiosi con la natura – si battono perché la loro esistenza non venga sacrificata sull’altare dello “sviluppo”.

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