The Maheshwar Dam : a Brief Introduction

The Maheshwar Dam is part of the Narmada Valley Development Project that entails the construction of 30 large and 135 medium-sized dams in the Narmada Valley. Maheshwar is one of the planned large dams and is slated to provide 400 Megawatts in energy. The project has been planned since 1978 and was originally under the auspices of the Narmada Valley Development Authority. In 1989 the responsibility for Maheshwar was conferred on the Madhya Pradesh Electricity Board (MPEB). Subsequently in 1993, the concession for the Maheshwar Project was awarded to the S. Kumars, a textile magnate. In 1994, the project received a conditional environmental clearance from the Central Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). Maheshwar is the first privately financed hydroelectric dam in India and is expected to displace around 35,000 people. As with Sardar Sarovar, the details of resettlement and compensation are nowhere near a satisfactory state of affairs. The NBA has been leading the movement against the Maheshwar dam.

On December 13th, 2000, Ogden Corporation joined the procession of companies that were forced to withdraw from the Maheshwar project. In 1998 and then 1999, first, the US power utility Pacgen and then the German power utilities Bayernwerk and VEW Energie withdrew from the Maheshwar Project. Subsequently, in June, 2000, a team of international experts commissioned by the Development Ministry of the German government visited the valley and came out with a report that sharply indicted the Project. In the wake of the report, Siemens was compelled to withdraw its application for an export guarantee from the German government, and a proposed loan of Rs.5700 million from a German bank fell through.

Ogden Corporation's involvement in the Maheshwar Project

Actions carried out or planned in response to Ogden's involvement

Other actions against the Maheshwar dam

Some resources on the Maheshwar project