Are big dams like the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the
To all the environmentalists I would ask "Is a 2000MW coal plant good for the environment"? Large dams control floods and provide water during scarcity. Examples of large dams that have changed the country they belong to are:
The other dam is the Aswan High Dam on the
"July 1995, floods described as being of a “once in a hundred years” severity, and caused by the melting of usually permanent snow in the Yangzi's mountain headwaters, caused more than 1,200 deaths. Just three years later torrential rain caused the worst floods in over 40 years. The death toll for the flooding, which lasted the three months from June to August, was over 3,000 people."
It was partly to address the problem of flooding, as well as
Now 18000MW of electricity is a lot. Ask the environmentalists how many coal plants would be required to generate that!
But there is one disadvantage of large dams that I acknowledge and consider the main reason why such dams should not be built (Kind of a shock isn’t it , here is a guy writes all that much stuff praising large dams and then says they should not be built!). It is the displacement of humans.
To understand this point put yourself in the situation, a dam coming up and you have to leave. To most of us consider the relocation of people due to a dam as like a transfer, difficult but not so bad. But we are wrong to consider that. Think of it as being terminated from service, like receiving the pink slip. Now how does that feel? Ok now you are thinking well I will get another job I am capable enough and thousands of people apply for jobs and get them. OR Well I have hunted for and found jobs before and will do it again. Wait. It is not only you who is job hunting now, there are about 1-2 million additional job hunters in the field now. Well now what do you think are your chances of finding a job that pays as much as your current one?
Oh wait! There is more! Put yourself in the shoes of a man running your neighbourhood store. He would have spent years if not decades cultivating his regular customers and all of a sudden he has to deal with setting up shop in a new neighbourhood (remember that his business depends on the people, his customers. So he has to start of all over again).
Of course if the dam is in such a location that not many people have to be displaced then it ‘OK’ to build it.
But remember that Humans should never be unduly displaced, we should think of our fellow beings to set us apart from animals.