Without complete rehabilitation, closing of dam gates is unacceptable
Thousands of people from Narmada valley, to be affected by Sardar Sarovar Project created a Human Chain on the borders of living village communities and on the banks of the river, protesting against any decision to close the dam gates.
The Dam, now having reached the height of 139 meters with gates erected but not yet closed will submerge 244 villages from 3 states; 192 villages from 1 township from Madhya Pradesh. With 31 years struggle 15,000 families are rehabilitated but least in Madhya Pradesh and 40,000 and more families live in the original villages. Today, 5000 of them, women, men, children, farmers, fishermen, potterers and labours came on the streets and formed a human chain.
People after 3 years in hottest sun, blocked the Rajghat Bridge on the river, holding a public meeting. Blue flags and banners, the people have challenged the Governments, especially MP and the centre, that they can’t drown and destroy their life and livelihood. In total violation of law and the past as well as the latest order of the Supreme Court.
Former Chief Minister, Digvijay Singh joined the Human chain in solidarity and said that it is shocking that without rehabilitation the Govt. is conducting a meeting to take a decision on the closing of Dams. It is sad that the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is not ready to meet the people of the Valley. He assured that he will speak to Uma Bharti about this matter.
A few thousand families are yet to get the new package in lieu of land. Thousands of landless have not received any package, said Devram Kanhera, exposing the game of numbers after Supreme Court of February 2017. We can’t build our houses with meager compensation. The resettlement sites are not ready and widows, poor single women have no support to raise a plinth, Pemal Behan from Dhanora village expressed her agony with anger.
The shopkeepers from Nisarpur asserted their right to plots who have observed a total ‘Bandh’ on May 4th.
The people in their schedule area have declared their plan to hold special Gram Sabhas in the coming days and pass resolutions bringing out facts and figures related to balanced rehabilitation. Their resolutions will form the law and legal frame for any further decision, not the NCAs rehabilitation, Suresh Bhai and Vahid Bhai declared, seeking the consent of all.
NBA v/s NCA will be the battle henceforth, Medha Patkar said. No role has been played by NCA over last many years and people will test them in this phase also. Lack of monitoring of rehabilitation and environmental measures has resulted in fraudulent reports and affidavits so far which NBA countered and got many of its assessment indicated. With all those who care for life, we can certainly fight and win, people asserted
Rahul Yadav, Pawan Yadav, Devram Kanhera, Bhagirat Dhangar, Mukesh Bhagoriya, Rohit Thakur