A storm has erupted in the Indian state of Kerala over proposals to build a huge dam and reservoir in the rain-forests of the picturesque Silent Valley.
GV PAN OF Silent Valley to sign saying "Silent Valley Hydro Electric Project".
GV AND SV Of Kunti River flowing through valley (2 shots)
SV Steep banks of Kunti River showing erosion
GV ZOOM INTO Hilly valley covered in mist (2 shots)
SV PAN UP Trunk of tree in the rain forest
GV Hilly valley area covered in mist
Rain pours down onto muddy ground in valley
Flowering bush in the forest
GV Shot of rain forest with monkey leaping from tree
GV & GV PAN OF Trees and bushes silhouetted on hilly ridge in forest (2 shots)
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Background: A storm has erupted in the Indian state of Kerala over proposals to build a huge dam and reservoir in the rain-forests of the picturesque Silent Valley. The local government of Kerala and India's central government have already given their approval to the scheme. But environmentalists and highly-respected scientific organisations are demanding that the plans are scrapped.
SYNOPSIS: This is Silent Valley where the local Kerala Government proposes to build a 130-metre-high dam, India's second biggest, and an 830 hectare reservoir to produce 240 megawatts of electricity.
It's a valley with outstanding natural beauty which environmentalists believe has a unique evolutionary structure.
Though some erosion has occurred along the Kunti River, ecologists say that Silent Valley contains the largest evergreen forest remaining on India's West Coast. They claim the Dam project would harm the ecological balance of the area.
So far the protests have gone unheeded by Kerala's state government. It says the scheme is vital to the region's agricultural and employment prospects. Central government initially supported the proposed scheme but with the issue creating so much controversy it's now taking a closer look at the plans. Prime Minister, India Gandhi, has said it would be worthwhile to see whether the State could gain the same services through alternative projects.
Already scientists have entered the forest in a government sponsored programme to evaluate Silent Valley's assets. Initial reports indicate they're impressed with the wide variety of vegetation in what one described as "the least disturbed" forest in India.