APPEAL FROM NARMADA VALLEY
As you are all well aware of the 30 years long struggle of the Sardar Sarovar Project affected people of the Narmada Valley. We have also received support and solidarity from each one of you in one or the other way throughout the critical times of the struggle. Now, the time has come again that together we challenge the preparations made by those in power and involved in corruption, to drown thousands of families in years old civilization of the Narmada Valley. The question of Narmada is linked to the various people’s movements of the country and vice-versa.
When Justice Jha Commission, which was formed by the order of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the year 2008, submitted their report on corruption after 7 years, it was not even given to the Narmada Bachao Andolan who is a petitioner in this particular case. NBA was not allowed to open in the court neither the report was given to MLAs but submitted to the State Assembly. So now, it is very clear that after ‘Vyapam’, the government will want to hide another case of corruption, this time of the Narmada Valley Development Authority. The Supreme Court has sought ‘Action Taken Report’ regarding the report submitted by the Commission, in six weeks time from the state government. The Andolan is waiting for the hearing at the Supreme Court.
The Jha report shed light into how many fake registries have happened; 1500? 2000? or more than that? How many crores of rupees would have gone waste in that? How many middlemen and corrupt government employees are involved in that? What all scams have taken place in the construction of houses, and rehabilitation sites ? It has to be found out which officials are involved in this, apart from finding out about money and land. Those who are guilty needs to be identified and punished accordingly. Even before we went to the High Court, the displaced people were being sent to jail; which was stopped by the High Court; the future action also have to be planned accordingly.
In 30 years, 14000 Adivasi and Dalit farmers in Gujarat and Maharashtra were rehabilitated with land, but in Madhya Pradesh only 40-50 rehabilitated people were given land. Even today, more than 50,000 displaced families are residing in submergence area. The action of MP government to rehabilitate 4374 families earlier and 15900 families now to submergence area is unscientific and illegal. Dharamshalas, Panchayats, temples, mosques, shops, markets and lives of lakhs of people, lakhs of trees…. cannot be drowned without rehabilitation as per Supreme Court order of 1992, 2000 and 2005.
Even today, after the Jha Commission Report, the families who haven’t been rehabilitated have not yet been granted justice or rights, neither have the culprits been punished. The Modi Government has through the Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharastra governments, pulled strings to increase the height of the dam by 17 mts, i.e., from 122 t to 139 mt. The construction of the gates is almost complete. We will not let them complete this and through JalSamarpan will save the valley.
It is in this context, that hundreds of people from the Narmada Valley will observe Fast ( ChetavniUpvas) from 27th to 29th April, 2016 in Bhopal.
In the same days, people from various tehsils in Maharashtra , MP, Gujarat and different parts of the country would also stage a dharna at their places in solidarity. Will you also organize one or be a part of this? It is important that some people from various struggles or their representatives over the country participate and be with us in Bhopal these three days. We hope that they would raise their voices in their own areas against the displacement and disasters in the name of development.
We request you to kindly be part of this fast that we, the 30 years old people’s movement, are organizing to challenge the Modi government and the MP and Gujarat governments. We hope you would spread the word in your district, state and other people’s movements you are closely associated with.
The Andolan needs support for legal intervention, ground level resistance and reconstruction initiatives, since the Andolan doesn’t take national or foreign funds. It has been running with the support of the people.
We request all our comrades/friends of Bhopal to support us this time too, as you have done in the earlier times. Do let us know if you need more information about this. Also, kindly inform us about the programme that you would be planning in your area through phone or email.
The people from the Narmada valley will reach Bhopal on 27th April morning and we hope that you would also be with us in these three days. It is important that all of us fight the displacement, disaster and inequality that is being bestowed on people in the name of development in the last thirty years.
In anticipation for response and solidarity
DevramKanera, KamlaYadav, GokhruBhilala, KailashAwasya, BhagirathDhangar, Mohan Patidar, KailashYadav, MudubhaiMachhwara, DevisinghTomar, Yogini Khanolkar, NoorjiVasave, Chetan Salve, JikuTadvi, Pemal Behan, Ramesh Prajapati, Sanovar B Mansoori, LokeshPatidar, Shyama Behan, Rahul Yadav, MukeshBhagoriya, KhemaBhilala, MedhaPatkar