Skip to main content

Narmada dam outees: Apex court asks Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra to set up grievances mechanism

Narmada dam oustees
By Our Representative
The Supreme Court’s newly-formed social justice bench, which has commenced hearing on the Sardar Sarovar Project case has asked the state governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, to appoint Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA), meant for looking into complaints of the oustees of the Narmada dam. Presided over by Justice Madan Lokur and Jusice UR Lalit, the bench began hearing on the case related to further raise in the height of the dam, on January 9, 2015.
The apex court had received summary submission with data and arguments from the petitioner, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), through its leader Medha Patkar, and other project affected person (PAPs), alongside respondents from Union of Indian through the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), and the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Counsel for Government of Gujarat, Harish Salve and Attorney General of India for Union of India challenged the locus standi of Patkar, accusing her and NBA of quoting from only from the judgment on the Omkareshwar dam, calling them “obstructionist” towards the dam.
Salve argued that Parkar should not be heard and the NBA “should not be permitted henceforth to be in the Supreme Court”. A National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) statement said, “The judges listened to all the arguments on maintainability, and then requested advocate Sanjay Parikh to plead on behalf of the representatives petitioners of farmers, labourers and fish-workers in thousands.”
“Parikh narrated the history of violations of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) Award, the state rehabilitation policies, as well as the judgments of the apex court of 1992, 2000 and 2005”, NAPM, the apex body of tens of people's organizations, including NBA, said.
“The land and livelihood based rehabilitation”, Parikh argued, “is far from completed and the same is evident from the official documents and reports. Hundreds of cases are pending before each of the three GRAs, and hundreds of orders are not complied with. Land offered and/ or allotted to many is uncultivable and hence against law and judgment.”
“Patkar was granted permission to plead as party-in-person against the request of the opponents”, NAPM said, adding, “She, on her turn, put forth the situation on the ground as well as the violations. She narrated the story of the big scandal in rehabilitation that has totally derailed the policy and squandered crores of rupees from rehabilitation funds without completion of rehabilitation.”
“The fake registries scam”, she said, “has led to making affected persons landless instead of giving them better standard of living, promised through policies.” NAPM added, “This made the bench to enquire about the present status and functioning of GRAs. It was finally confirmed before the bench that hundreds of cases are pending before GRAs while there is no chairman in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat today.”
“The bench then directed to appoint urgently the five GRAs in Madhya Pradesh and two in Maharashtra and Gujarat each. Further, the bench stated that it would like to get pending cases redressed and GRA to give their assessment on the differing data presented by parties. The bench also directed the all the three states to consult respective authorities and come back with names of the GRAs”, NAPM said.
The next hearing would be held on January 16.

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.

Story of a foot soldier of Gujarat riots coming from a vulnerable community, Chharas

By Rajiv Shah
He is one of the more prominent "foot soldiers" of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Suresh Jadeja, alias Langdo, alias Richard, is indeed a well-known name in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, in which 97 persons were killed on February 28, 2002, the first day of the riots that shook the nation. Ordinarily, such a person should have been subjected to sociological scrutiny. What have here is a keen journalistic account, with clear political-ideological overtone.