(Last Updated on : 06/10/2010)
The valleys of River Narmada are not only historically important, but also economically. In the present days, these valleys are bases for various handicraft works and other small-scale industries. In Indian history, Chalukya emperor Pulakeshin II was known to have defeated emperor Harshavardhana of Kannauj on the banks of Narmada.
The valley is famous for the stunning Maheshwari saris, which are hand-woven and comfortable in both warm and cold weather. These sarees are not only elegant but also light and easily manageable. These saris have been very popular choice among the Indian women.
The lower Narmada River Valley and the surrounding uplands cover an area of 169,900 km² that covers dry deciduous forests. The eco region lies between moister forests; found in directions like the northeast, southeast and southwest. These parts receive greater rainfall from the southeast monsoon, and the drier forests and scrublands of the Deccan to the south, Malwa, and Gujarat to the west and northwest.
Of the 30 big dams proposed in the Narmada River valley, Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) and Narmada Sagar Project (NSP) are the largest dams. The Maheshwar and Omkareshwar dams along with SSP and NSP are to form a complex that would finally cater to the requirements of SSP. The struggle of the people of the Narmada valley against large dams began when the people to be displaced by SSP began organizing in 1985-86. Since then the struggle has spread to cover other major dams in various stages of planning and construction mainly the Maheshwar, Maan, Narmada Sagar, Goi and Jobat. Tawa and Bargi Dams were completed in the year of 1973 and 1989 respectively. These have seen the affected people organize their post-displacement to demand their rights in the Narmada river valley.
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