Skip to main content

Govt of India "declares": No land-based compensation to 38,000 Narmada dam oustees of Madhya Pradesh

By Our Representative
In a major admission, the Government of India has officially suggested that none of the 37,754 Madhya Pradesh families living in 192 villages, to be affected by the submergence because of the Narmada Dam in Gujarat, would be given land in lieu of land which they would lose.
In reply to a letter by Medha Patkar, leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) fighting for land rights for tens of thousands of oustees in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, has indicated that land as a form of compensation is being provided only to Maharashtra and Gujarat oustees.
The reply claims, the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) package offered to the project affected families (PAFs) is more liberal than the one originally announced by the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) Award for the Narmada project, worked out more than three decades ago.
The reply follows Patkar's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding rehabilitation of all Narmada dam oustees in the three states before raising the dam height to 139 metres. The Prime Minister's Office forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Water Resources for reply.
The reply says, the Government of Maharashtra was "allotting one hectare (ha) of agricultural land free of cost to each landless oustee, and 2 ha of agricultrual land to major son and unmarried major daugthers to all category of oustees, besides a subsistence allowance of Rs 4,500 per oustee."
As for Gujarat government, the reply states, it is "allotting 2 ha of land to landless agricultural labourers, each major sons of all category of oustees with January 1, 1987 as cut-off date, and free core house/financial assistance of Rs 45,000 for construction of core house to the oustee families and their major sons."
However, if the reply is any indication, there is no, and would not be any, land-based compensation to the Madhya Pradesh oustees. Thus, the reply says, the Madhya Pradesh government has "increased" the rehabilitation grant from Rs 11,000 to Rs 18,700 for scheduled caste(SC)/schuedled tribe (ST)/landless agricultural labourers/small and marginal farmers, and from Rs 5,500 to Rs 9,350 for other labourers and landless families."
It further says, "The liberalization has also been made to purchase the productive assets. Accordingly, the amount to purchase the productive assets has been increased from Rs 29,000 to Rs 49,000 for SC/ST/landless agricultural labouers and from Rs 19,500 to Rs 33,150 for other labourers and landless families."
The reply does not mention any possibility of paying land compensation to the Narmada dam oustees. No reason for this has been given. 
Rejecting the Ministry of Water Resources reply, the NBA has said, the so-called special rehabilitation package of Madhya Pradesh gives cash in lieu of land, promoted by the state government since 2001 and then 2005 "has resulted in a few thousand fake registries."
Pointing out that 686 of these have been admitted by the Madhya Pradesh government itself, NBA says,"Whatever number to be proved by the Jha Commision report is that of families who are yet to receive land. There are
hundreds of others who received only half of the cash but are demanding
land ready to return the cash."
The Jha Commission report, which is said to have endorsed large-scale corruption in rehabilitating oustees, has not been made public.
NBA underscores, "This has left thousands of families in Madhya Pradesh deprived of the same", and yet the Ministry of Water Resources reply has "no discussion of the same", adding, "Not more than 50 PAFs in Madhya Pradesh are allotted land in the state."
Even those who petitioned to courts for demanding land have not been provided with house plots in R&R sites "near their allotted agricultural land", NBA says, adding, "There are hundreds who are allotted house plots near the original village while land is 150 to 200 kms away! All of them continue to struggle, staying put in the original villages."
Critiquing even the "liberal R&R policy", NBA says, "What is not pointed out is that in Maharashtra as well as in the hilly communities of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, almost 100 per cent of PAFs are adivasis -- many of whom have been categorized as landless only since they don't have record of rights but hold and cultivate land."
The Ministry of Water Resources claims that of the total 45,496 PAFs to be rehabilitated, all but 310 are left out -- none in Madhya Pradesh, just eight in Gujarat and 302 in Maharashtra. Madhya Pradesh's 1,250 oustees, it adds, have het to be paid the second instalment the special rehabilitation package. The oustees already "resettled" are -- 37,754 in Madhya Pradesh, 4764 in Gujarat and 3878 Maharashtra.

Comments

TRENDING

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.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”