Chronology of controversy

1949 Tehri dam conceived

1961 Tehri chosen as a tentative site for the dam

1972 Planning Commission gives its nod to the dam

1978 Actual construction of the dam begins under police protection; Protests gather momentum

1980 Environmental Appraisal Committee appointed by the government, refuses environmental clearance

1986 Diversion tunnels start operating; Protestors storm the site and stall construction work

1990 Environmental Appraisal Committee, the D R Bhumbla committee, rejects the dam again

1991 Earthquake measuring 6.6 on Richter scale rocks Uttarkashi. Renewed concerns about the seismic safety of the dam.

1992 Sunderlal Bahuguna goes on a fast unto death. Work on the dam temporarily stopped. Gain in 1995

1996 Government sets up the V K Gaur committee to look into seismic safety

1997 Hanumantha Rao committee on rehabilitation submits its report. Recommends major changes in rehabilitation policy

1998 Gaur committee submits its report. Asks for detailed analysis

1999 Chamoli earthquake, measuring 6.8, brings large scale destruction. Anti-dam activists up in arms about safety

1999 Committee of secretaries of the Union government clears dam

JANUARY 2001 Bhuj earthquake again raises concerns

MARCH 2001 Vishwa Hindu Parishad joins the anti-dam movement just as the tunnels are to be closed

APRIL 2001 Government forms another committee under the S&T minister Murli Manohar Joshi

DECEMBER 2001 M M Joshi committee yet to give its final report. Regardless, gates of two diversion tunnels are closed and water level rises. No protests this time. Final work on the dam gets underway

NOVEMBER 2002 M M Joshi committee submits its report. Says the dam is safe to withstand an earthquake of high magnitude

SEPTEMBER 2003 In a divided verdict, the Supreme Court clears the legal hurdles for dam construction

MARCH 2004 Tunnel T2 closed. Water level rises to 648 metres submerging many parts of old Tehri town

JULY 29, 2004 Water level rises to 655 metres submerging the remaining parts of the Tehri town. Residents flee for their lives

AUGUST 2004 Internal landslide at the dam site. 29 workers dead