Skip to main content

Return unused land acquired for Narmada dam, oustees demand citing Modi's decision not to amend Land Acquisition Act

By Our Representative
In an important move, the Narmada dam oustees in Madhya Pradesh have demanded that the order to acquire their housing and agricultural lands should be “cancelled” and they should be given “full ownership rights” of the lands they possessed following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement that the 2013 Land Acquisition Act (LAA) will not be amended any more.
Asserting that they all have automatically become the actual owners of their houses and/or agricultural lands that were acquired 10-15 years ago, the oustees have said, the acquisition of their plots should be deemed cancelled as on January 1, 2014 “as per section 24(2) of the LAA.”
In a representation to Madhya Pradesh’s state-level Narmada authority, Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA), 80-odd oustee families have said that, the LAA requires that if a piece of land remains unutilized for project development for five years, it should be returned to the owners.
“Our names should be entered through mutation on the said property”, the representation was quoted as saying by the powerful anti-dam movement, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), in a statement.

The NBA claimed, the oustees from village Pipri, Piplud, Chhota Barda and Bhilkheda of Badwani district and Chikhalda and Bhavaria of Dhar district, totaling about 80, have also filed their petitions before the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Indore Bench, and have “already received a stay order against dispossession of their lands.”
The High Court has directed the state “not to elicit or even drown their properties”, according to the NBA, adding, “This is applicable to above 40,000 families residing in the submergence area of the Narmada dam and other dam projects on the Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh.”
The NBA statement came on the 22nd day of the Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha, in which hundreds of farmers, labourers and fisherpersons gathered at the district collector’s office in Badwani, which borders Gujarat, to protest against the ongoing construction of the Narmada dam, apprehending massive submergence.
“The oustees are confident the section of the LAA has already been interpreted by the Supreme Court in 2014 and 2015 in such a way that it prevents the Modi government and other lower courts from misinterpreting LAA in a particular way”, the NBA said.
“The Supreme Court has rightly interpreted that even if the 2013 Act section 24(2) gets amended or deleted, the ownership rights already granted under the Act since January 1, 2014, cannot be compromised with”, the NBA underlined.
Calling this a “great relief to the project affected people whose lands/houses were acquired years ago”, the NBA said, they received a “meagre compensation”, even as rehabilitation began much late, leaving many oustees “penniless”.
“Lack of rehabilitation planning and land resources have created a situation in which the“oustees become the losers as they cannot start a new life”, it added. Under construction on Narmada river in Gujarat, the Narmada dam’s height is being taken from 122 metres to 139 metres.

Comments

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Attack on Gaza: Western media 'went out of the way' to obscure, protect perpetrators

By Sonali Kolhatkar*  Israeli forces killed more than a hundred Palestinians and wounded more than 700 on February 29, 2024 during a distribution of food aid in Gaza city, pushing the Palestinian death toll to 30,000 since October 7, 2023. The food aid massacre was straightforward in its deadliness as armed Israeli forces aimed weapons at desperate, hungry Palestinian civilians and killed many of them. It was also plausible within the context of who has firepower and who doesn’t, and wholly consistent with Israeli atrocities, especially those committed since October 7, 2023.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Stressing on standardisation, efficiency, capitalists 'intensify' workers' exploitation

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The productivist ideology lies at the core of the profit-making pyramid of capitalism. It perpetuates a relentless cycle characterized by busy schedules, workplace tension, an imbalance in work-life equilibrium, and a pervasive sense of alienation. 

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.