In 1990, the Indian government and Tehri Hydro Power Corporation began planning to dam the Bhagirati River at the Himalayan foothill town of Tehri in Uttar Pradesh. Plans indicated that it would be the fourth largest dam in the world. Damming the river at this particular location would lead to flooding of the town and the displacement of up to ten thousand of its residents. Scientists also protested the construction of the dam because of its proximity to the central Himalayan Seismic Gap.
After the Indo-Chinese border conflict ended in 1963, access to the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, a region encompassing eight different districts in the Himalayas, was greatly expanded. The money for this expansion, including highway building, generally came from logging companies that wanted access to the vast timber forests in this area of the country. Poor forest management led to increased erosion, depleted water resources, lower agricultural yields and greater flooding.
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) forces end of World Bank funding of Sardar Sarovar dam, India, 1985-1993
After the country won its independence, India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, began calling for the construction of dams to aid in India's development. Many of these dams were proposed on the Narmada River, which flows through the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. In 1978, the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal approved the Narmada Valley Development Project, which included 30 large dams, 135 medium dams, and 3,000 small dams. The most controversial dam was the Sardar Sarovar Project in the state of Gujarat.