Down to Earth, June 30, 2007
People living near the Tehri dam on the Bhagirathi river in Uttarakhand are in trouble. Villages on the slopes overlooking the reservoir are threatened by increasing landslides and those living downstream, once ousted for the building of the dam and rehabilitated, are losing their new homes to an airport expansion project.
People living upstream accuse the administration of neglecting the threat that the fragility of the higher slopes are posing to them and the dam.
The 42-sq km reservoir of the 260.5 m-high Tehri dam is surrounded by slopes that are steep and unstable: landslides, caused by heavy rains and cloudbursts, have been common there for a long time. Since February 2007, their frequency has grown exponentially, affecting 1,500-2,000 families in nine villages. The villages—Nakot, Dhaulakot, Kangsali, Jalwal, Chanthi, Raulakot, Garolia, Khola and Nautaar—on the slopes surrounding the rim of the reservoir are located above the high-flood level. [more]