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

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

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 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".

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.

Protests break out as school going children 'branded Naxalites, taken prisoners'

By Sheshu Babu* Conditions in all spheres of life is going from bad to worse. On September 13, Political Prisoners' Day was observed. On that day, Jatin Das, friend of Bhagat Singh and member of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association, passed away after 63 days of hunger strike. He demanded 'political prisoners' status to those who have been jailed by the state.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

Politically-motivated: Global NGO network on ED 'harassment' of Harsh Mander

Counterview Desk  CIVICUS , a top global alliance of civil society organisations seeking to strengthen citizen action and civil society around the world with a claimed membership of more than 10,000, objecting to the alleged harassment of IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander by the Government in India, has said that the the the Enforcement Directorate (ED) raid on his house and office highlights “an ongoing pattern of baseless and politically-motivated criminal charges brought by the authorities against activists across India”.