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

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.