Why this waste of water and farming resources in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat?
Government must rethink on Sardar Sarovar Dam !
10th September 2014, Badwani :News from Gujarat has come that the COCA COLA plant, worth Rs 500 cr. , which is being started in Sajand, District is going to get a big share of water that the state receives from Sardar Sarovar Dam. The state everyday will provide approximately 30 lakh liters of water, from the river Narmada, to COCA COLA. As of now the state already has vowed, to the functioning and proposed industrialists, some 90 lakh liters of water. Presently they already are providing 20 lakh liters of water to the manufacturing units of Ford and TATA Motors in Sajand. Now, the basic idea behind setting up of the Sardar Sarovar Dam is clear and the truth is standing tall before the people.
Many public protests are happening against the COCA COLA plants and they have been criticized world over for exploiting the ground water resources. It is also said that the apart from making false promises they do nothing. Even after knowing this, the decision of the government to grant Narmada water is an irony.
The project was pushed in the name of providing water to the drought stricken parts of North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kachh. This resulted into the submergence of the jungle, villages, high yielding farms, temples and mosques of the tribal people in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. After such huge losses, now the government is trying to befool people and has planned to provide precious water to COCA COLA, a consumer goods manufacturing company. Now, the government is making a policy shift and is going to provide water and prime agricultural land to the industrialists instead of providing water to the farmers in North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kachch. The Gujarat Government has now started the allotment of the 4 lakh hectare land around Sardar Sarovar. This act of the Gujarat government, inspite of the fact that changing the land and water allocation rules changes the very basic purpose of the project, is not being questioned by either the Maharashtra or the Madhya Pradesh government. Narmada Bachao Andolan appeals to the society and the people to think about this act of the government.
According to the documents furnished by the government, the total cost of the Sardar Sarovar Project has raised from Rs. 4200 Cr to Rs. 90,000 Cr. Some 40-45 thousand families, living in the submerged area around the Sardar Sarovar, are still waiting for their rehabilitation to be done. An inquiry commission, headed by Justice Shravan Shankar Jha, is still probing into the reckless behaviour of the government in rehabilitation of these people and massive corruption in the whole process. According to the norms in ‘the Right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement act, 2013’, the displaced people are treated as the village natives, who continue to have possession. This is one of the reasons why this act on the part of the government is unlawful.
Narmada Bachao Andolan appeals to all the sensitive people present in the society and the government to think about the hardships of the people living in the Narmada valley and demands for the reconsideration of the Sardar Sarovar Project. We also demand to save farm and community land, cultural heritage of the region and the lives of the thousands of people living in the Narmada valley.