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Hindustan issues article on Frances Niebuhr

Oct 31, 2016

On 28 October 2016, the Indian newspaper Hindustan issued an article on Frances Niebuhr, who is a doctoral student at the Cluster “Asia and Europe” as member of project MC 9.2 "Changing Sacred Waterscape", which is led by Prof. Jörg Gengnagel.

The article is entitled “Heidelberg University Germany is conducting a study about Srinagar [Hydropower] Project” and portrays Frances Niebuhr’s study of environmental movements in the Himalayas and Uttarakhand. She does research on the origins of the movements, which aim at preserving the local environment and culture. In connection with the construction of the Srinagar hydroelectric power plant built on Alaknanda River, Niebuhr also analyses the significance of Dhari Devi. The religious icon’s temple was situated in the projected flood area and despite activities by various organisations to save it, could not be preserved in it's old form.

According to the article, Niebuhr investigates positive and especially negative results, which the construction of the power plant generated. The article also mentions that to get a full picture of the present situation, Niebuhr interviewed Beena Chaudhary, president of the Environmental Institute, who organised movements to save the temple a couple of times. Chaudhary mentions how the decision for the construction was made without taking the opinions and situations of the local people into account and talks about the negative impact the project had on the environment and lives of the residents of that area.

Frances Niebuhr joined the Cluster "Asia and Europe" and worked on the subproject MC 9.2 "Changing Sacred Waterscapes" in October 2013. She completed her Magister (M.A.) in Indology at the University of Hamburg.