Manas and Kaziranga National Parks at Risk From Dams

Kaziranga grasslands
Ramki Sreenivasan
As Kaziranga is on the Brahmaputra plain, the dams are likely to trigger changes in the flood cycle and ecology of the river and affect the national park

Manas National Park, which recently regained its World Heritage Site status continues to be at risk from hydel projects. The Kurichu hydro electric project (60 MW) and the Mangdechu hyrdro electric project (720 MW) in Bhutan are deemed likely to threaten Manas. The Kurichu dam has already flooded Manas once in 2004, killing large numbers of wildlife. Release of water from the dam has been reported on several occasions in the last six years creating floods in the Manas Biosphere Reserve area. The NGO Aaranyak, which has conducted a study, feels that UNESCO should take note of the threats posed by large dams constructed in Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan. Unless sincere steps are taken to prevent the number of ecologically harmful and unsustainable dams being constructed and planned in the Eastern Himalayas, Manas and Kaziranga national parks will get severely degraded.

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