Skip to main content

Gujarat's 1,000 tribal Narmada dam oustees face eviction from rehab sites: Protest relay fast at Kevadia Colony

By Our Representative
With strong indications that nearly 1,000 Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP)-affected are being re-evicted by the Gujarat government, nearly 100 women and men have been on a 24-hour relay fast in front of the office of the Resettlement Office of Kevadia Colony, set up for building the Narmada dam.
The oustees are said to be upset, as the Gujarat government is said to have prepared a list of these 1,000 project affected families (PAFs), whose land would be taken back, claiming that they were given benefits "without eligibility".
This came to light after the state authorities began given notices to people of the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) site Sandola. Prominent social activist Medha Patkar-led Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which is supporting the agitation, begun on July 15, has said, “The Gujarat government is not willing to resolve their problem, nor their grievance being redressed.”
Patkar, who joined the protesters on July 18, apprised a gathering at the spot of the protest relay fast about the huge gathering to take place at Badwani in Madhya Pradesh on July 30 in protest against closing the Narmada dam gates, which have been installed.
She said, the closure of the dam's gates, installed on the dam, would submerge a large number of villages in Madhya Pradesh. The Madhya Pradesh government is refusing to give land against land to rehabilitate them, she added.
Joined by hundreds of tribal oustees of the highly fertile Nimad region of Madhya Pradesh, the agitation is also for, according to an NBA communique, “raising the voice challenging the Gujarat government against unjust and unfair rehabilitation.”
NBA says, another problem that particulalry dogs tribals from 19 villages of Gujarat, whose land was “acquired in the 1980s, and were compelled to leave their villages, their environs and cultures, shifting to resettlement sites.”
“Their cutoff date of eligibility for all rehabilitation benefits is 1987, since their land was acquired in the 1980s. However, the cutoff date for those who have come from Madhya Pradesh is 2000 and beyond”, says NBA.
“This difference has caused people of Gujarat a lot of sufferings, whereby even 50 year old tribals have no right to any benefits of land and employment as per the rehabilitation policy. They demand that the cutoff date should be extended to 2002”, NBA underlines.
NBA claims, “The resettlement sites do not have basic amenities listed in the Narmada Water Distribution Tribunal (NWDT) award. Many of the resettlement sites are suffering from lack of drinking water. Some have no drainage system, others have no cemetery, grazing ground or pathways to fields.”
“The irrigation promised to every project affected family who has been allotted land as per the NWDT, endorsed by four judgements of the Supreme Court is yet to reach every site and every field”, NBA noted.
“While the Maharashtra government has at least taken a decision and begun to pay the amount for private tube wells to the oustees, the Gujarat government hasn’t done this, neither has it ensured drinking water supply to the oustees. They have also not received irrigation as per the legal provisions”, NBA noted.
“The agitation”,NBA says, “has found support by the people from six villages affected because of the land acquisition for the Kevadia Colony way back in 1961. Others who have joined in the protest include people from 70 villages that are affected by the new tourism project at the Narmada dam.”

Comments

TRENDING

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.