Echoes of Bhakra

Oustees of one of the highest gravity dams of the world fear yet another displacement--50 years after the first one.
Bhakra dam (Source: Apar Singh Bataan, Wikimedia Commons) Bhakra dam (Source: Apar Singh Bataan, Wikimedia Commons)

Bhakra dam was the first hydropower project of independent India. Though it brought electricity and water to vast areas, the people displaced in the Bilaspur area of Himachal Pradesh remain dissatisfied. Many of them were not adequately compensated, and began living and farming in the adjoining forests. They were allowed to stay put--unofficially--by the administration. But now, 50 years later, a High Court order is calling for the removal of all encroachments from the forest areas of Himachal Pradesh.

Electricity and water supply to the oustees is being disconnected. In such a scenario, the affected families are relying on the Forest Rights Act which disallows action against forest dwellers if they have been living in the area prior to December 2005 for the last three generations or 75 years. 

This video details the impact of the dam on these families, and their present predicament.

 

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