Are Big Dams Necessary?


Background :-

  • In the year 1947, there were around 300 large dams in India. And now, there are almost 4,300 large dams.
  • India holds a strong position in the list of dam building countries after US and China.

In Favor :-

  • Dams are for supplying water for irrigation, prevention of floods and to generate electricity.
  • Dams are the main source for water in dry areas.
  • It’s good to use technology for our survival.

In Against :-

  • To construct a large dam, many people have to leave their homes. Since 1947,  4,300 large dams in India have displaced over 42 million.
  • Some Dams are occupying forests. Hence causing deforestation.
  • As there is no flow of water, water becomes stagnated and causes spreading of water-borne diseases and releases green house gases.
  • Big dams cause earthquakes because of the weight of water in reservoirs.
  • If a large dam is damaged, it will effect the lives of lakhs of people. 
  • In the world’s worst dam disaster in China in 1975 when two large dams burst as many as 2,30,000 people died.

Alternatives :-

  • Through ‘rainwater harvesting’ rain can be caught on rooftops and channelled into tanks.
  • Use electricity more efficiently without wasting it.

Conclusion :-

                   “no dam” or “dam above all” are both wrong. We definitely need dams because rainy season is only 3 months a year. Govt. must take responsibility for rehabilitation of the people, who are going to be displaced, dams must be built on a strong rock foundation and total dam must be strong enough to tolerate natural disasters.
Afterwords :- What are your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to express your opinion in the comment section below.
Our aim is to help students to give their best in Group Discussions. We update the articles regularly to keep them relevant.
  • i think that better to stop building more dams

  • j d goswami

    There was a great earthquake in Assam in 1950. So our great leaders are campaining we should not build any dam in this part of the country which may damage our property & lives. Are they talking also that we should not built big houses, gather wealth, or even should not do politics, because it may again come within next hundred years. Environmental issues are always detrimental to any development project.It is sure to effect the ecological balance and environment but we should also remember that while thousand of hectres are deforested every day, while flood is causing havoc without any DAM, while poor farmers are praying to rain god to give water for only 1 crop and sustainable livelihood the Masters of environment and ECOLOGY are SILENT. Do we need agitaion for the sake of Agitaionwhich benefits the LEADERs only at the long run at the cost of poor people. We strongly agrue we need the DAM to solve many of our problems. If rest of INDIA is benefitted by 4300 big DAMS why all these hue & cry for the only project in Assam. Are we really petriot ? J D Goswami

  • Thank u for the correction 🙂

  • Anonymous

    If a large dam is damaged, it will________ lakhs of people. word missing!

  • Bhaskar

    Ya Lower Subanshiri dam, a 2000 mw project by NHPC is a great threat to Assam. If the dams breaks or give away in case of earthquake then 50 % of Assam will come under flood ..Moreover Assam is gaining nothing from the project.she will not get the proposed amount of electricity as proposed by power commission ..Instead Assam will lose more than gaining… The dam construction will also IMpact the bio diversity of the region..It will decrease sediments, Water Quality in the fertile plains of Assam..The Goverment and NHPC is talking of applying modern technology in constructing the dam….BUT SOMEDAY IF THE DAM BREAK AWAY ..THEN NO MODERN TECHNOLOGY WILL BE ABLE TO SAVE ASSAM FROM FLOOD…

  • Anonymous

    We should protest against all Dams–We are protesting against newly ongoing build Suwansiri Bandh, Gerukamukh–Arunachal–Who is NHPC,Who is Mr Tarun GOgoi,CM for the Dam and supporters of Dams–All Indians should lift their hands since such dams can cause havoc, can wash you all way in seconds–yes, we need electricity–but not from Dams –dams creates Earthquacks–there are such 100 instances –pl follow this link