Skip to main content

Narmada oustees gain fishing rights in reservoir after 30 years' struggle

By Our Representative
In an important gain, thousands of Maharashtra-based Adivasis affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam of Gujarat have been able to obtain right to reservoir fishing, for which they were demanding for the last over three decades. According to information from the Narmada valley, this would help several hundred Adivasis of Satpudas alone.
As many as 300 young and old adivasis have already been given the right to fish in the reservoir. This has happened "following years of pursuit with the authorities", said a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) statement, adding, "Cooperative societies of displaced fish workers in the tehsils of Akkalkuva and Akrani of Nandurbar District have been recognized by the fisheries department, Government of Maharashtra."
"The societies have been registered as part of Narmada Nav Nirman Abhiyan (NNNA), which has been undertaking various re-constructive activities in the valley, including running of life-schools called Jeevanshalas, educating thousands of tribal children", the NBA said.
Calling it a "significant victory for the hilly adivasis who have faced the illegal brunt of submergence, many years ago", the NBA said, "The official recognition of the fishing rights of the displaced tribals is a vindication of their resilient struggle which echoes the slogan: 'Jahaan zameen doobi hamaari, paani machli kaise tumhari'."
"This implies that where the lands of the people have submerged, neither the water nor the fish can belong to the state and the private contractors. The displaced persons have first rights over ‘benefits’ of the project and this is the letter and spirit of the rehabilitation polices and numerous judgements of the Supreme Court as well, which guarantee a ‘better standard of living’, post-displacement", NBA said.
Meanwhile, the commissioner fisheries, the deputy commissioner, the joint commissioner and and local officials of the Government of Maharashtra visited the valley, held many meetings with NNNA and assessed the integrity and capacity of Adivasis and activists.
During the meeting, the fishers-oustees asserted that they have right to share in development benefits, for which they have submitted various memorandums to the government and held mass actions.
A well-attended event took place with the participation of hilly Adivasis and plain area fisher-people from Nimad, Madhya Pradesh, with the fisheries officials of Nasik Division of Maharashtra. The officials visited the village Manibeli on April 11, 2015 and distributed five kgs of fishing net to each of the member,s and assured that pick up vans and boats will be delivered to each society soon.
Three months ago three cooperatives got registered and an agreement for fishing for five years was signed. "Today, 300 adivasis can fish freely and fearlessly and use this aquatic wealth as a source of income. A federal effort will certainly give them higher profit. The young adivasis have been very enthusiastic about the development", the NBA said.
"The struggle to obtain rights to the displaced cooperatives of fish workers shall continue in the other villages of Maharashtra as also in the Narmada river–bank villages of Madhya Pradesh, where as well thousands of fisher people in the hills and plains are asserting their traditional rights", the NBA said.

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.

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.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

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.”

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.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

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).