Former MP, HannanMollah meets the President of India, Submits Citizens Memorandum Raising the concerns of the Oustees of Narmada Valley
Madhya Pradesh Government must follow SC orders and Provide Compensation and Complete Rehabilitation
Forceful Eviction Without Proper Rehabilitation is a Human Catastrophe
30 May 2017, New Delhi: A delegation led by Former MP, General Secretary, All India Kisan Sabha, Shri Hannan Mollah and comprising of Annie Raja of NFIW, Vimal Bhai and Himshi Singh of NAPM, met the President of India on May 29, 2017, and submitted a citizens memorandum on the current situation in the Narmada Valley. The delegation raised the brazen attempts by the Government of Madhya Pradesh citing compliance of the 2nd part of the Supreme Court order dated 8 February 2017 and preparing for forceful eviction before 31st July. However, the Government is clearly ignoring the 1st part of the SC order, that is to provide compensation and complete rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Dam affected Villages.
As per the orders of Supreme Court, last date for giving compensation and ensuring complete rehabilitation was 8th May 2017. Till now, the State has not done any survey which can list all the project affected families entitled to compensation and rehabilitation as per the rehabilitation policy, which caused many families to be left out from receiving the compensation. How can a State even think about evicting people without rehabilitation? This is a clear contempt of spirit of court orders and judgments along with the murder of constitutional rights of project-affected families. This will prove to be a disaster as families are still without alternative land, livelihood and liveable rehabilitation sites.
Shri Hannan Mollah informed the President that “we have visited the villages of the Narmada Valley as a fact-finding team, which is full of life and culture and is facing the threats of submergence, and displacement in absence of a single satisfactory R&R sites. Our report brings out the dismal conditions of the project affected families, R&R sites, corruption in the payment of compensations and so on. 192 villages, 1 town, 40,000 families and more than 2 lakh people will be affected. If the Govt. does not take proper action in rehabilitating the Sardar Sarovar Project affected families than the condition of the outsees of Madhya Pradesh will become as bad as the oustees of Gujarat or Maharashtra.
Annie Raja, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Women(NFIA) said that “if the SardarSarovar Dam gates will be closed without proper rehabilitation, it will be remembered as the mass murder in the Human History. After the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Narmada Valley for Narmada SevaYatra, the process of intimidation and eviction has taken speed.”
VimalBhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, explained the environmental impacts in the form of ChlorofluoroCarbon gases due to the submergence of lakhs of trees. He also explained the condition of the rehabilitation sites built years ago, still lacking in basic amenities, cracks on the houses due to black soil and no drinking water availability.
Himshi Singh, National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements said that “the Madhya Pradesh Government is manipulating its own statistics of the Action Taken Report- 2008 which gives a count of 31,180 families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and now drastically reducing the number in the recently issued Gazette, 2017 by 18,346”.
After listening to the delegation, The President of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee said that he will look into the matter and initiate necessary actions.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has made an announcement that all the project affected families who have to spend all the money given to them to build their houses will again be given a package of Rs 1,32,000 under PradhanMantriAwasYojana. However, the eligibility guidelines issued by the government are as such that very few PAFs will get the benefits of PMAY. This Government is trying to disguise the people of the valley under the garb of big political promises.
Adding to the concerns of the delegation, Dr. Sunilam, National Convener, NAPM, added that, “even though the District authorities and Collector understand that the R&R sites are not yet complete but still there is insistent in vacating the valley and there is a forceful eviction which is being prepared. The Madhya Pradesh government is an anti-farmer and anti-people government, which has the least regard for rule of law and is mired in the corruption at all fronts. Its days are numbered and the people of Narmada Valley of Madhya Pradesh will teach them a lesson for sure”.
The people of Narmada Valley are determined to challenge these illegalities and are readying for a democratic and non-violent peaceful resistance to the forced evictions. They are being joined by 200-300 people from across the country as part of the Rally for the Valley, 5-7 June 2017, who will extend their solidarity. Similarly, the support groups across the country are going to organizing support programmes across the country in coming months.