The era of mega-dam building is far from over.
“He has a clean heart,” my guide Pritam says of the baba. But the holy man is worried, he says. His temple sits at the confluence of two rivers, the Sarayu and the Mahakali, in the foothills of the Himalayas. They hold a fish called the Golden Mahseer. The rivers, the fish, and the temple are all threatened by the construction one of the largest dams in the world.
The Pancheswhar Dam will be three hundred feet taller than Hoover Dam in the U.S., spanning a canyon about two kilometers downstream from here. It will produce more than 5000 megawatts of electricity, provide irrigation to India and Nepal, and control the raging monsoon outflow, which swells the watershed each June. Pancheswhar will be so massive that another dam will have to be constructed a few kilometers downstream to restrain the flow spilling from its base when its gates are open.
Eight tunnels will be built, planners say, to divert the flow of the Mahakali during the twenty years the dam is being fabricated. As the waters rise, foot by foot, 49,000 families in more than 230 villages will lose their homes.
LINK (via: WFFA)