the Maheshwar hydel power project being built on river Narmada is a privatized project which was handed over to the S.Kumars group of companies. Around 70,000 people of 61 villages are affected by the submergence of the dam. In the last 16 years, the project promoters have resolutely refused to rehabilitate the displaced families, so that more than 85% oustees remain to be resettled till date and 100% of the oustees remain to be rehabilitated. Yet the Maheshwar dam is 90% complete and the promoters are seeking to fill the dam. In spite of this, the project promoters and Government of Madhya Pradesh has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forest to allow partial filling of reservoir till 154 meters.
On 27.8.2011, last monsoon, when the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Limited, the project authorities of the Maheshwar dam illegally closed the gates of Maheshwar dam and illegally filled the reservoir up to 154 meters at the dam site and to higher levels at the further reaches, many houses and lands got submerged in several villages. Since no back water impact at 154 meters has been estimated by the authorities, any permission to raise the water level to EL 154 meters is likely to cause huge submergence and death of hundreds of people.
0% rehabilitation has been achieved and less than 15% of the resettlement of the oustees has been achieved, although the same is required to be completed before reservoir filling is permitted. Even the Maheshwar dam oustees affected at 154 meters are yet to be rehabilitated.