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Fwd: STOP THE DAM ! ! ! Urgent Action !

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An environmental and cultural disaster is about to occur in Kashmir. We must
prevent it ! ! !

 As I have repeatedly said: the occupiers only care about the land and water
of J & K - and absolutely nothing for the people. I mentioned the below news
to a fellow Kashmiri student and he mentioned that it would be good, because
Kashmir has severe electricity shortages. What this student didn't realize is
that hardly a percentage or two will be diverted to J&K, the rest will go for
India's consumption, the environment will be ruined, and thousands of peoples'
homes will be under water. That's how "development" works under Indian

Furthermore, if another dam is built in J&K, it will be another reason for
India to refuse even stronger - independence. Already, India and Pakistan talk
of "safe-guarding their water interests" as an excuse for the continuing
occupation of J&K. Even more startling, India and Pakistan - despite all their
differences - a long time ago signed a water treaty dividing up what is not
theirs to divide. 

plaese distribute the below article throughout the net - to environmental
organizations, human rights organizations, archaeological societies, and
groups working for the rights of indigenous peoples. Maybe we can contact such
groups in Sweden to put pressure on the Swedish consortium  (SCANSA) that is
building the dam????

PLEASE PLEASE   Lets act on this quickly and without ulterior motives. Let's
do this purely to help those Kashmiris who will be unwillingly displaced and
for the environmental sanctity of our land.

wasalaam. K290

Dard Shin tribals say no to dam proposal 

SRINAGAR, March 24: The last of about 25,000 Dard Shin tribals living on the
border with Pakistan are on the verge of losing their homeland, the famous
Gurez valley, which will get submerged in the waters of a dam planned for a
power project on the Kishen Ganga river. 

The 330 MW Kishen Ganga hydro-electric project being built near the line of
control along Pakistan in North Kashmir has been commissioned to a Swedish
consortium, SCANSA and some Indian companies. 
The tribals have constituted a committee and threatened to launch an agitation
to resist their displacement. "This dam will devour our homeland where our
culture has flourished for centuries. It threatens our distinct identity. We
will not let ourselves be sacrificed for a developmental project that has
least benefits for us," said Farida, a college student of Dawar. The tribals
are likely to seek the intervention of the Supreme Court to prevent the
construction of the dam. 

As per the plan, the Government was to acquire 7,703 Kanals of cultivatedland,
7,869 Kanals of non-cultivated land and more than 400 Kanals of forest area.
The Sub-divisional magistrate, Sopore, has already issued land acquisition
notices to seven villages since January. The villages to get submerged are
Badwan, Fakirpora, Wampora, Khandiyal, Mastan Khopri, Markote and Dawar. 

Ashraf Sahil, director, All India Radio Kashmir, said, "This displacement will
not only endanger a language and a particular ethnic community but also their
homeland along with the significant archaeological treasure of their glorious
past. Even the famous silk route had been via this Gurez valley. The tribe
will be uprooted and annihilated and will eventually be lost in the din and
chaos of their new modern houses." 

According to the Managing director, Power Development Corporation, 961
families of these tribals will be displaced. 

Copyright  1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. 
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