Sardar Sarovar Project: Water Tourism or Watery Grave ?
Lives of Lakhs at Stake: Large scale submergence at doorstep
“Special” Saturday Hearing on 1st August
for Narmada Oustees in Supreme Court
30th July, 2015: Time is running out fast and dark clouds are hovering over the lives of thousands of families in the Narmada valley. When the waters have reached 122 mts at Sardar Sarovar dam site but it cannot over flow as much as it did last year due to pillars covering half of the space, some Gujarati news papers are publishing misleading reposts of “dam overflow” projecting SSP as an attractive site for tourists, while it is proving to be a watery grave in 245 villages with life, culture and environs in the hilly areas and densely populated plain communities.
It is in this background that the two-judge Social Justice Bench comprising Hon’ble Jst. Madan Lokur and Hon’ble Jst. U.U. Lalit of Supreme Court of India have, after a series of hearings and arguments over the past 6 months, directed that a “Special” Hearing would be given to the SSP Oustees, NBA and Central, State Governments on the coming Saturday (court holiday) i.e. 1st August, on some important jurisdictional issues, before the hearing proceeds further.
The hearing assumes significance in the backdrop of the monsoon at the doorstep, as the lives and livelihoods of lakhs of people living in the valley is at stake due to the construction of the Project to its full height, in violation of the Narmada Tribunal, State Rehabilitation Policies and Judgements of the Supreme Court itself issued in 1991, 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2011. While 11,000 families have received land as a result of the intense struggle of decades, the fate of thousands others in the 3 states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat is highly uncertain.
It is therefore an extremely grave situation that while thousands of tribals, farmers, fish workers, landless have not yet been rehabilitated with alternative land, livelihoods, house plots at resettlement sites, even at 121.92 mts, thousands more are yet to be affected with the new dam height increase. The Judicial Inquiry Report into corruption in R&R, to be released in Oct, 2015 will bring forth the scale of violations and corruption. The Government has played a game of numbers and has thrown out 16,000 families out of submergence on the basis of flawed back water calculations. The clearances for the dam by all authorities are based on these wrong assumptions and false reports of complete rehabilitation.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court shall hear all parties on the issue of jurisdiction with respect to rehabilitation and raise in dam height and thereafter proceed to issue further orders.
Narmada Bachao Andolan – For details Contact: 09179148973
Order Copy and Court List Enclosed
1 ITEM NO.301 COURT NO.9 SECTION PIL(W)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
I.A. Nos. 37/2009, 40/2014, 41/2014, 42/2014, 43/2014, 44/2014, 45/2014 in Writ Petition(s)(Civil) No(s).328/2002
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
UNION OF INDIA AND ORS
(for clarification and directions and exemption from filing O.T. and permission to file application for direction and office report)
These applications were called on for hearing today.
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE MADAN B. LOKUR
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE UDAY UMESH LALIT
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Prashant Bhushan, AOR Mr. Sanjay Parikh, Adv. Ms. Anita Shenoy, Adv. Mr. Ritwik Parikh, Adv. Mr. N.S. Thomas, Adv.
For Respondent(s) UOI Mr. Neeraj Kishan Kaul, ASG Mr. Ajay Sharma, Adv. Ms. Kiran Bhardwaj, Adv. Mr. Nitesh Daryanani, Adv. Mr. D. S. Mahra, AOR MoEF Mr. A.K. Sanghi, Sr. Adv. Ms. Saroj Bala, Adv. Ms. Manita Verma, Adv. Mr. Shreekant N. Terdal, AOR NCA Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG Mr. Syed Naqvi, Adv. Mrs. Namrata K. Sharma, Adv. Mr. P.P. Kanwer, Adv. Mr. Rajesh Kumar, Adv. 2 Gujarat Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG Ms. Hemantika Wahi, AOR Ms. Jesal Wahi, Adv. Mr. Kabir Hathi, Adv. Maharashtra Mr. Arvind Savant, Sr. Adv. Mr. Nishant R. Katneshwarkar, Adv. Madhya Pradesh Mr. P.S. Patwalia, ASG Mr. C. D. Singh, AOR. Ms. Sakshi Kakkar, Adv. UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
To examine the jurisdiction of this Court on the basis of various applications and the affidavits that have been filed, we think it would be appropriate to list the matter on a Saturday, i.e., 1st August, 2015 so that the jurisdictional aspect is taken care of.
(SANJAY KUMAR-I) (JASWINDER KAUR)