*Sardar Sarovar Project begins submerging lands without monsoon to intimidate people*
*Will the Narmada villages be drowned committing contempt of Court, law and people?*
*Will the UPA play to the tunes of Modi government, allowing gates to be erected on Dam?*
NARMADA is rising again, even without monsoon, drowning the fields in adivasi villages due to Sardar Sarovar project, such as Bhadal and Jalsindhi, in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, also of families in Gujarat.
This time too, it threatens to destroy community after community, first of adivasis and their homes and farms of the other farmers in the thickly populated villages in Nimad, M.P What ever was saved due to the Dam kept at 119 mts is to be submerged now since the Dam height has gone up to 122 mts and water in monsoon would rise to a fiery height of 134 mts at the dam site and upto 141 mts in the villages upstream. Drowning the thousands of families to death.
The meeting which was to be called Mr. Narendra Modi on the 7thof January is now scheduled for 19 th of January i.e two days from now*. As is known there are lakhs of people yet to be rehabilitated, there is no land available for the task in Maharashtra as well as Madhya Pradesh and no permission is granted for raising the height to 138.68 mts i.e the full reservoir level, by NCA. However Mr Modi has not hidden the fact that he would like to convince the CMs of other states on the issue of benefits to them and seek their approval to put up the gates. Will the CM of Maharashtra participate in the meeting? Is NCA watching and ready to take the initiative to direct the states against not only putting
up the gates but also regulate the water releases from the upstream dams so
as to stop flooding the adivasi communities and populated villages in Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat?. Will the monitoring agencies including
the Prime Minister, the Minister for Water Resources and Minister for Social
Justice and Empowerment take a firm position in favour of the legal and human rights of the oustees and protect the same as per the mandate from the Narmada Tribunal Award and Supreme Court judgements?. Will the Congress led by Sonia Gandhiji not submit to Mr Modi's agenda to rise with the Dam in his state and beyond?.
It is an established fact that there are about 35,000 families i.e 1.5 lakh people, in the submergence area of 122 mts high dam and as per the official estimates too, it is 25,000 families below 122mts and 15,000 families between 122 and 138.68mts (FRL). There is no land to offer to the eligible families in Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra or for exchanging the bad lands allotted in Gujarat. The resettlement sites do not have adequate plots and all amenities functioning. If waters are filled it will be a great state conspired tragedy. *Kailash Awasya, an affected adivasi family from village Bhilkheda, Badwani, M.P. has, a few days before, filed a contempt petition before the Supreme Court of India making the heads of the decision making and monitoring bodies the parties, including the NCA, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Sub-Group, the Narmada Valley Development Authority, M.P. and the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam as well as Sardar Sarovar Construction Advisory Committee, Gujarat.
The petition claims that there is total violation of NWD Tribunal Award and Supreme Court's judgements directing NO SUBMERGENCE WITHOUT REHABILITATION.
The PM's assurance towards the same is not fulfilled nor are recommendations
of the Shunglu committee (OSG) implemented.
The political manipulations and the moves in violation of human rights also appear to be more perverted in the context of the fact that Gujarat has not completed its canal network and not used the waters that were available below 100 mts of Dam height. The achievement on irrigation and drinking water within Gujarat is about 10 % of the planned targets at 110 mts.
The power generated since the dam reached 110 mts height is less than the targets and too irregular. With the gates erected, Maharashtra too will get not more than 1% of its annual consumption of power which can be a no justification for drowning the fields and homes of its adivasis for the rise and prestige of BJP government in Gujarat. The report by official monitoring agency, YASHADA, Pune, has brought out that there are about 900 families yet to be rehabilitated in the state while there are atleast 1000 more families who are to be surveyed for becoming marooned, taken on records and rehabilitated.
Two lakh people continue to reside, life continues to on in this oldest of the river valleys and civilizations in the world, as proved by the pre-history branch of Archaeology, challenging the government on its plans to destroy the valley and pauperize the people.
Medha Patkar, Ashish Mandloi
* Ashish M. 09910353431
* Ashok Sharma 011-26680883 / 26680914