After 17 days of Relay Fast at 21 Places in Narmada Valley, Sardar Sarovar affected with Activist Medha Patkar to go on Indefinite Mass Fast from July 27th, 2017 on the Narmada River Bank
In protest & to prevent barbaric violence in the name of development
Huge rainfall creates a havoc in Gujarat
Neither does the Gujarat need water, nor does Madhya Pradesh need power!
Sardar Sarovar is a need of vested interest politics!
Destruction of prime agriculture, nature and climate not acceptable
Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh | July 25, 2017 : Sardar Sarovar Project initially pushed in the name of the drought affected in Gujarat. It is obvious; it was being pushed for the corporates & in the interest of the electoral politics. Without completing just rehabilitation of thousands of families in Madhya Pradesh the Government of Madhya Pradesh with the centre’s blessings is all ready to forcibly evict & throw the families with the children & aged, out in the tin sheds of 180 sq. feet which can’t even accommodate their belongings, why talk of persons & cattle.
Yesterday, the police force brought in for this operation carried out a mock drill in Badwani & continued with its intimidation tactics towards vacating the villages.
No doubt the political parties including Congress, JD (U), Left Front, AAP through their elected representatives and office bearers, have taken cognizance of & supported the people’s struggle by raising their voice at the democratic forum of Madhya Pradesh assembly & the parliament, They have endorsed the people’s demands for rights & opposed submergence as well as eviction without rehabilitation. However the Shivraj Singh government seems to be determined to use force & violent measures. The time schedule with a plan to raise the water level by few metres every ten to twenty days is another conspiracy like a slow poisoning to kill the communities.
Against such violence, the 32 years old nonviolent movement of the people in Narmada has to be necessarily taken to the peak. Narmada Bachao Andolan will initiate an Indefinite Mass Fast from July 27th, on the bank of the River Narmada.
As per the Madhya Pradesh Government notification (dated 25.5.2017), 18386 families of villages will have to vacate their house and the village while the lists therein have a number of flaws such as the families who have left decades ago or the others who were removed on the grounds of reduced back water level and related exclusion of theirs, are also included & directed to leave by 31.7.2017.
On the other hand, many families those have been residing since generations & are to be surely affected, are left out! The reality is that 192 villages & one township inhabit about 40,000 families which can be affected at the dam height of 138.68 metres with the highest flood.
With not a drop of water being available to Madhya Pradesh from Sardar Sarovar, it’s shocking to see that the state does not hesitate to sacrifice its living communities. It has already promoted the false affidavits and shamelessly declared the project across the world as a symbol of development.
The grand reality as on today is such as the state of Gujarat, not completing the micro canal network, has diverted the canal waters to the corporates such as Coca Cola & Car industry even in the name of the drought affected. This year when the Narmada Waters reached Saurashtra, what a coincidence that the heavy rains (about 22 inchs in 2 to 3 days) have led to flooding of dams which were to be filled with Narmada & some even overflowed. The army had to be called & at least 5000 people had to vacate first in Gujarat before the Valley. This has happened once every few years and raises a question regarding whether Gujarat can or cannot have decentralized water management, and avoid such a huge destruction? Madhya Pradesh too would accept that it doesn’t require any more power since its own power projects, such as the Bargi Power Plant closed & kept idle as closed. Why can’t then both the states, not having any urgency take a decision to defer impoundment until the R&R is complete.
The Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh, it is clear & obvious, is not for any dialogue with us who can bring into the debate, data & documents that can prove as well as challenge. Avoiding any discussion on the inadequacies, he has had a few dialogues till yesterday only with his party & Parivar colleagues. The groups he talked to included the middlemen who have looted the poor oustees for lakhs, which established the nexus that support the corruption & why there was no action even after 7 years long enquiry by Justice Jha Commission.
Today, Modi Government has totally ignored the social and environmental issues, so serious & detrimental, at the dam height of 138.68 metres, the Government of Madhya Pradesh seems to be ready to sacrifice the lives & rights of lakhs of people with police force & water floods.
The state has not only misinterpreted the order of the Apex Court dated 8.2.2017 but has also left hundreds of farmers / landholders deprived of the package granted by the Supreme Court. Instead of constructing all civic amenities at the R&R sites & create a situation conducive to shifting of the oustees to the sites, the state is focusing on erecting temporary structures, the tin sheds, spending crores of rupees where there is no permanent facility for either drinking water or water availability for building houses, the government is to make food camps with contractors to feed 20 thousand people at each, at the cost of 66 rupees per person per day. In the place of permanent road to be constructed, it is spreading fine crushed stones on the mudroads. The plan is to force various categories of landless, artisans to doctors to the rented houses, if nor the tin sheds, pushing them out & killing the living communities by drowning.
The Chief Minister, who merely expresses sympathy with the oustees, is certainly not for resolution of conflict, but for war! The Prime Minister still performing as a former Chief Minister of Gujarat, is insisting the CMs of 12 BJP ruled in the August 12th & perform an Aarti with 2000 Sadhus coming from Varanasi. Such a perverted depiction of Development politics is unbearable. The judiciary too can’t accept violent ways to progress nor should it accept the claims of ideal rehabilitation without full assessment. We can’t let go the brutal lynching of tolling masses, the village communities, agriculture, natural ecosystem & the culturally rich region, the oldest of the civilization that is of Narmada.
It’s in this context that after waging a nonviolent battle with People’s Power over 32 years, we are taking to a path of indefinite fast challenging ourselves, appealing to the sensitive citizens in our own society & expecting that a better sense will prevail amongst the ruling politicians. We will stay out on the banks of Narmada & continue to fight.