Wednesday, August 4, 1999 Published at 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
World: South Asia
Narmada dam protest winds up
Some 60 villages will be submerged this monsoon season
By Mahesh Pandey in Bhopal
A group of activists led by best-selling Indian author Arundhati Roy is on its way back to Delhi at the end of a six-day rally to protest against a controversial dam project.
The rally was a last-ditch effort to stop the dam being filled, but its catchment areas have already started to fill with water.
The group - made up of some 500 activists, artists and celebrities - passed through the village of Jalsindhi, the first area in Madhya Pradesh to be submerged by waters filling the dam, before reaching Domkhedi.
The state authorities said extra police and security were put in place after Ms Roy said she felt personally threatened by pro-dam activists.
Supporters of the dam argue that the water and power it will provide will be crucial for the entire region, spanning four states in the west of the country (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra).
Controversy has surrounded the dam project since its inception more than ten years ago.
This dam is the first of a series of 30 which will be built on the Narmada river.