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A Black Day for India, 2,00,000 People to Face Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley

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A Black Day for India, 2,00,000 People to Face Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley

Sardar Sarovar Dam Height Raised in Violation of Law – Non-compliance of NWDT Award and SC 2000 Order

Narmada Bachao Andolan Will Challenge it and Continue to Struggle for Justice

Badwani / New Delhi, June 12 : It’s a black day for India, injustice has been done to people of Narmada Valley who have been fighting for their life and livelihood for three decades. In complete violation of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award and the conditions imposed by Supreme Court 2000 judgement, Narmada Control Authority today gave the permission to increase the height of the dam. Supreme Court in its order had said that

We expected Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi to behave like a statesman and before taking any decision consult all stakeholders, including Narmada Bachao Andolan representing lakhs of displaced persons. He however, acted only in the interest of Gujarat, behaving like Chief Minister of Gujarat. On one hand he talks about taking the country forward with his ‘Vision of Inclusive Development’, however, today’s decision is in complete contrast of that idea.

  1. Sardar Sarovar Dam at its present height itself has 2 lakh people in its affected region while if the height is raised by erectig 17 meters high gates, the densly populated villages in Nimad Madhya Pradesh with houses, farms, shops, temples, mosques standing crop etc. will face a watery grave. Adivasi villages in the hills in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat habitating hundreds of families are also to be further submerged. Altogether not less than 2.5 lakh people, farmer, fishworkers, potters, shopkeepers will face a deluge and devastation, without rehabilitation, if the height is raised from 122 meters to 138 meters!

  1. Thousands of families – mostly adivasis and small farmers are yet to be given land in M.P. and Maharashtra. While hundreds have not accepted cash compensation till date and are entitled to land, thousands who have been disbursed half or full installments of cash compensation have been duped by a nexus of agents and officials and the matter is sub judice (under judicial inquiry). Thousands of landless, fish workers, potters etc. are also awaiting alternative livelihood based R&R.

  1. Expert Committees appointed by MoEF have concluded that numerous studies and safeguard measures on command area development, catchment area treatment, compensatory afforestation, aquatic, health impacts seismic risks, downstream impacts is pending and gross violations have been pointed out, which are yet to be rectified.

  1. Neither the R&R Sub Group nor the Environment Sub Group can grant clearance to raise the dam in the present situation, since the Supreme Court’s Judgement of 2000 clearly mandates that permission shall be given pari passu, only after ensuing full and lawful compliance on all measures.

  1. In M.P. and Maharashtra, 1000+ orders of the Grievance Redressal Authority are pending for compliance and 1500 of applications are also pending to be heard. Central Government is bound to comply with the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, R&R Policies, Judgements of the Supreme Court, Action plans and GRA orders. The GRA’s have not yet given their clearance and NCA’s decision without the same is illegal.

  1. A Judicial Commission under Justice S.S. Jha has been inquiring into a massive corruption scam of Rs. 1000 crores in M.P. and the inquiry as well as report on the fake registries, irregularities at 88 R&R sites, house plot allotments, livelihood to landless is due. Huge corruption implies huge rehabilitation work pending.

  1. People of the Narmada valley are not at all opposed to the interests of the farmers, rural poor and real development of Gujarat and Rajasthan. We are not at all questioning or stalling the construction of canals in the command area. We appeal to you that the canal work needs to be undertaken on a priority basis and the water ponded at 121.92 mts needs to be fully utilized and all pending measures on R&R, environmental compliance should be ensured, before raising the dam height further.

  1. Raising of dam height at this stage has only lead to additional submergence without any real increase in the benefits. Such a decision would be completely unlawful and does not behove good for the welfare of the citizens of India. The investment of 70,000 crores needs to be reviewed vis-à-vis the benefits and a comprehensive review needs to be undertaken, with all stake holders.

It is tragic the way decision has been taken, even before the decision was taken, Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel, had not only announced but was in Kevadia to perform puja. This shows lack of any attempt at looking at the facts by the concerned Ministers, Uma Bhartiji, Paraksh Javadekarji or Thavarchand Gehlot must have looked into all the reports, detailed data as well as the ground level situation, before deciding.

This hurried decision will cost the nation and Narmada Valley. More importantly, Gujarat & Rajasthan can get their share of water from Narmada river without this height increase and are not able to use even 20% of the water already available to them at the current height. This is clearly unnecessary, unjust and unwarranted decision that is not likely to have even legal sanction. Only additional benefit that increase in height can provide is about 10-20% additional power generation, in which Gujarat’s share is only 16%: 57% share goes to MP and 27% share goes to Maharashtra.

Today’s decision is a complete breach of every principle of democracy and justice and people of Narmada Valley will challenge it. Narmada Bachao Andolan will continue its struggle for justice and fight for dignified livelihood for the people of Narmada Valley.

Medha Patkar, Meera, Nurji Padvi, Kailash Awasya, Bhagirath, Madu Machuwara, Ranveer Patel, Devram Kanera, Pema Bapu, Savabehan, Kamla Yadav

Contact : 9423965153 / 9179148973 / 9818905316

Attached : NBA Letter to PM Today.

Fact Sheet on Status of rehabilitation in Narmada Valley

See our past press releases on the issue here : http://tinyurl.com/ncfhmm3

Related note on the same :

http://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/why-is-government-of-india-indulging-in-this-unwarranted-unnecessary-act-of-raising-ssp-dam-height/

http://sandrp.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/why-is-gujarat-neglecting-safety-of-sardar-sarovar-dam/

To,
Shri Narendra Modi,
Prime Minister of India
New Delhi
Respected Narendra Modi-ji,
We are writing to you in extraordinary situation of anguish, after learning from media reports
and authentic sources that the Government of India, through the Narmada Control Authority
is planning to grant final clearance to the Sardar Sarovar and permit installation of radial
gates, above the present height of 121.92 mts, to the final height of 138.68 mts.
Your government has obtained an impressive majority from across the country and therefore,
we hope that you will not ignore people’s expectations and would act in national interest.
Before any hasty and further decision on Sardar Sarovar, we would kindly request you to
dwell upon the following ground realities; situation of rehabilitation, environmental
compliance and cost benefits; the human benefits versus human disaster:
1. Narmada valley (SSP area) with thick village communities in the hills and plains in
245 villages, with a population of 2.5 lakh; thousands of hectares of fertile
agriculture and horticulture, hundreds of mandirs, masjids, ghats, schools, markets,
Panchayats etc. etc. cannot be drowned without full and lawful rehabilitation.
2. Thousands of families – mostly adivasis and small farmers are yet to be given
land in M.P. and Maharashtra. While hundreds have not accepted cash
compensation till date and are entitled to land, thousands who have been disbursed
half or full installments of cash compensation have been duped by a nexus of agents
and officials and the matter is sub judice (under judicial inquiry). Thousands of
landless, fish workers, potters etc. are also awaiting alternative livelihood based
R&R.
3. Expert Committees appointed by MoEF have concluded that numerous studies and
safeguard measures on command area development, catchment area treatment,
compensatory afforestation, aquatic, health impacts seismic risks, downstream impacts
is pending and gross violations have been pointed out, which are yet to be
rectified.
4. Neither the R&R Sub Group nor the Environment Sub Group can grant clearance to
raise the dam in the present situation, since the Supreme Court’s Judgement of 2000
clearly mandates that permission shall be given pari passu, only after ensuing full and
lawful compliance on all measures. 5. In M.P. and Maharashtra, hundreds of orders of the Grievance Redressal
Authority are pending for compliance and hundreds of applications are also pending
to be heard. Your government is bound to comply with the Narmada Water
Disputes Tribunal Award, R&R Policies, Judgements of the Supreme Court,
Action plans and GRA orders. The GRA’s have not yet given their clearance and
NCA’s decision without the same would be illegal.
6. A Judicial Commission under Just S.S. Jha has been inquiring into a massive
corruption scam of Rs. 1000 crores in M.P. and the inquiry as well as report on the
fake registries, irregularities at 88 R&R sites, house plot allotments, livelihood to
landless is due. Huge corruption implies huge rehabilitation work pending.
7. You know quite well that the people of the Narmada valley are not at all opposed to
the interests of the farmers, rural poor and real development of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
We are not at all questioning or stalling the construction of canals in the command
area. We appeal to you that the canal work needs to be undertaken on a priority
basis and the water ponded at 121.92 mts needs to be fully utilized and all
pending measures on R&R, environmental compliance should be ensured, before
raising the dam height further.
8. Raise of dam height at this stage would only lead to additional submergence without
any real increase in the benefits. Such a decision would be completely unlawful and
would not behove your good self as the Prime Minister, responsible for the welfare of
the citizens of India. The investment of 70,000 crores needs to be reviewed vis-à-vis
the benefits and a comprehensive review needs to be undertaken, with all stake
holders.
We appeal to your conscience to stop the hasty decision process, give us an opportunity
for a brief hearing with your good self and a detailed presentation before the concerned
ministers, who would certainly like to know the situation in the valley and even visit the
affected areas to assess the reality, first hand, before taking an irreversible decision.
This would be a true ode to Sardar Patel, leader of farmers, from you and your
government.
We will stand by every move of yours taken within the framework of law and human justice,
but will be compelled to challenge the same if law, human rights and nature are violated.
With sincere and personal regards,
Medha Patkar Kailash Awasya Madu Machuwara Ranveer Patel
Devram Kanera Pema Bapu Savabehan Kamla Yadav
Copy to:
1. Smt Uma Bharti, Hon’ble Union Minister for Water Resources
2. Shri Prakash Javdekar, Hon’ble Union Minister for Environment
3. Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Hon’ble Union Minister for Social Justice.

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Comment (1)

  1. Each individual is a valuable asset for our Prime Minister who is slowly catching all our love and respect through his speeches from Central Hall of Parliament,Reply to presidents address and we are now looking at him as source for sustenance of all Indians whether rich or poor,that religion or this religion,that caste or this caste.In this context we expect Narendra Modiji to involve all stake holders of Narmada River and the Dam in dialogue and build consensus ensuring the rights or compensating timely all and then go ahead with the decision of increasing the Dam Height.

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