Skip to main content

Narmada oustees' long-pending complaints: Apex court asks Gujarat, MP, Maharashtra to act urgently

By Our Representative
The Supreme Court’s Social Justice Bench has directed Grievances Authorities (GRAs) of three states – Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra -- to urgently dispose of all the pending complaints of Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) oustees lying before it by February 28, 2015. The apex court direction came follow another order on January 9 to the three state governments to immediately appoint judges for all the GRAs, whose primary job is to look into complaints of the oustees. Madhya Pradesh has to appoint five judges, Gujarat two and Maharashtra one.
At the same time, the apex court has asked the Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat governments to file compliance reports by March 10 with regard to about 3,000 complaints the GRAs have already looked into. The apex court will further hear on the petition, filed by anti-Narmada dam Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), on March 13.
Meanwhile, complying by the apex court order of January 9, the Madhya Pradesh government filed an affidavit conveying appointment of Justice (retired) AK Sharma, Justice (retired) SS Dwivedi, Justice (retired) Indrani Dutta, Justice (retired) IS Shrivastava and Justice (retired) GD Saxena. All five are retired judges of the High Court. The Gujarat and Maharashtra governments also committed to appoint judges for their GRAs.
The apex court directive came following a hearing of the applications filed by oustees from various affected villages and the NBA challenging the recent decision of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) of June 12, 2014 to raise the height of the dam from 121.92 metres to 138.68 metres as unconstitutional and in violation of the Narmada Tribunal Award.
The NBA argued, the decision was also violative of the previous judgments of the Supreme Court, mandating that any increase in the dam height shall only be carried out after rehabilitation of all the oustees was completed. The applications challenged the NCA’s claims that there would be no “additional submergence’.
Pleading for the oustees, NBA counsel Sanjay Parikh informed the court that the rehabilitation of thousands of oustees was pending, while the dam height was being increased and construction has commenced, leading to grave violation of the fundamental rights of the oustees. He said that the procedure for dam height had been “grossly violated” by the Environment and Rehabilitation Sub Groups of the NCA and the NCA itself.
Parikh also questioned the legality of the ongoing dam work, as it has already been proved that the conditional clearance to raise the dam height from 110.64 to 121.92 metres has been violated and thousands of oustees, already thrown in the submergence zone, have not yet been rehabilitated and have been defrauded by a nexus of officials and agents, whose acts are being inquired into by a Judicial Commission in Madhya Pradesh.
Applicant-in-person, Medha Patkar submitted that there are already hundreds of orders of the GRAs, where compliance is pending, and oustees have already faced impacts of “unlawful submergence”. She pointed out that the NCA’s Annual Report of 2013 had already admitted more than 2,300 families are yet to get land in Madhya Pradesh. At the same time, more than 1,000 adivasi oustees in Maharashtra and a few hundred in Gujarat are without land, civic amenities.

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.