Saturday, May 20, 2017

15,000 Narmada dam oustees to be evicted in Madhya Pradesh by July 31: June 5-7 'Save Narmada' to protest move

By Our Representative
The Madhya Pradesh government is all set to evict around 15,000 families by July-end in the Narmada Valley, even as Gujarat government is readying itself to close down the 30-odd gates on the Narmada dam in order to take the water level in the dam’s reservoir from the present 121.92 metres to 138.64 metres.
Quoting official figures, top anti-dam activist Medha Patkar has said, 8,200 families to be evicted will be from Badwani district and 6,132 families from district Dhar, apart from a few families from Khargone district.
Calling these figures are an “underestimates”, in an email alert to Counterview, Patkar says, “All this is being done without even full compliance with the latest order of Supreme Court that directs complete rehabilitation and vacating the lands on receiving the cash packages by farmers.”
Yet, she says, “The police and revenue officials are visiting one village after another with drone cameras to photograph long distance visuals of the areas to be vacated.
Pointing out that all this is not proving to be easy for the state’s officials, Patkar says, “They are facing questions and wrath of people who are not ready to move out without all rehabilitation and entitlement.”
To give expression to this wrath, Patkar says, her organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has decided to hold a three-day "Save Narmada, Save Life" yatra, starting at Indore, Madhya Pradesh, on June 5, and ending at Vadodara, Gujarat, on June 7.
The aim of the yatra, according to her, would d be to campaign against the effort to close the Narmada dam’s 30 odd gates to store water up to the full reservoir level – 138.64 metres from the present 121.92 metres.
Accusing the BJP government at the Centre, and in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, of forming “an unholy alliance of lies and web of deceit”, Patkar says, the move would “drown thousands of families from the 192 villages and one town by closing the gates of the Narmada Dam.”
“We have exposed their lies of complete resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R), proved as recently by the February judgment of the Supreme Court”, Patkar claims, regretting, the authorities remain “callous” violating “every order of the Supreme Court and many orders of Grievance Redressal Authority of Madhya Pradesh.”
Pointing out that “even today the resettlement sites remain incomplete”, Patkar says, “A few hundred families even in Maharashtra are yet to be resettled with land and new sites to be established. Besides, those resettled in Gujarat years ago are on the roads asking for their due rights which still remain unfulfilled.”
Wondering why are Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra supporting this “devastation” caused the Narmada dam in the downstream, Patkar says, neither of the two states are to get even drop of water, and the only beneficiaries would be “the rich corporates and big urban centres” of Gujarat.
Finding that Narmada waters may not reach them, Patkar says, at several places “even Gujarat’s own farmers are on the streets”, adding, even electricity to be produced from the dam’s power houses would go waste, as Madhya Pradesh, which is supposed to get bulk of it, “does not require it any more.”

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Isn't this the same lady who got thrashed in the recent elections? So much for the "voice of people". It's so funny that it's tragic.