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Press Release – Narmada -Sardar Sarovar Dam can’t be raised further without rehabilitation

 

  • Narmada -Sardar Sarovar Dam can’t be raised further!
  • Without rehabilitation of thousands of families…Modi Government can’t plan a massacre!
  • New Act has empowered oustees as Owners of Property: No one can submerge now!

 

Not less than 40,000 to 45,000 families residing or not rehabilitated till date cry halt from the Narmada valley. While Government of Gujarat, blessed with Modi Government, is pulling together their junked material to the Dam site, adivasis, farmers, fishworkers…all warn the government not to violet law and impinge upon their right to life and livelihood!

 

Tens of Gujaratis’ own adivasis, affected but not fully rehabilitated and threatened by displacement from their rehabilitation site again, for industrial and urban development, took to the streets today. On their way to meet the Chief Minister, Anandiben Patel who was to come to Rajpipla (dist. Narmada), Jikubhai Tadvi, a leading ousteee, was pulled from the bus by Gujarat police when others accompanying him began a dharna (sit-in) at Devalia, tehsil, district Vadodara and others joined them. The action was finally withdrawn when they were promised a meeting with collector, next day ie. today-27-09-2014. Gujarat’s adivasis resettled since last 15/20 years too are facing displacement as they are asked to give away their land for town planning or canals for Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project-various industries from Japan or within India. Simjibhai of Kukad site denied consent from himself and others in his community to give away land for canal again. Bija Shankar refused to compromise after his house in Dabhoinada resettlement site was forcibly and illegally demolished. They all now unite with others from vasahats (resettlement sites) who too sense the threat while they are yet to receive all their rehabilitation entitlements, as per law, even after 20 years since they were shifted out!

 

While hundreds of SSP-affected in Gujarat are yet to get their dues, many not declared, others not got land up to the mark; in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the story is worse. There are thousands of families who are residing in their own villages in submergence area, and who can’t be pushed into Jalsamdhi (watery grave). The Pakka houses, shops and market, prime agri and horti-culture, the trees and forest, temples and mosques, we remind all, cannot be destroyed and lives devastated!

 

The Maharashtra government, through its joint checking with oustees from each village, has concluded that there are not less than 791 declared families who are yet to be rehabilitated, while 378 of them are being finally checked. But there are, as per records at least 400 others who too have legal applications are pending before Justice Bagga, chairman Grievance Redressal Authority. The report-submitted to the Central Narmada Control Authority by Govt. of Maharashtra’s officials earlier was fraudulent, it’s proved. Land is yet to be located, beyond some dispersed pieces which are still be offered to oustees after removal of encroachment.

 

In Madhya Pradesh, the hilly adivasis in Alirajpur, affected since 1994 are yet not fully rehabilitated and the process of showing them land is still on, with GRA’s orders. Hundreds of GRA’s orders granting rights to the farmers and labourers with farms/houses affected, are yet not complied with.

At least 2000 project affected families in Madhya Pradesh are found to be duped through fake land registries (sale deeds), actually, not receiving land. Enquiry is on ! Resettlement sites, a report by the Technical experts from MANIT, Bhopal and IIT, Mumbai, submitted to Justice Jha Commission of Inquiry into corruption conclude, are far from ready with amenities, as per legal requirements and corruption is involved, requiring CBI enquiry! Thousands are yet to get agri land and others, house plots. A few thousand claims pending with GRA chairman Hon.) Justice (Former ) Khare….Corruption in distribution/allocation of house plots and  livelihood grants is still under investigation by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh!

 

All this and much more clearly indicates that the Dam height , if raised to 138.68 meters by erecting 17 meters high gates (whether they are closed or kept open) will be illegal and brutal! This way to push water pondage, for Coca-cola, Adani’s, Ambani’s Tata’s and other industries, denotifying command area by 4 lakh hectares, when irrigation canal network in Gujarat is not even ready, needs to be condemned by all who care for justice!

 

Rahul Yadav                                       Meera                                   Medha Patkar

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