Skip to main content

Huge anti-Narmada dam rally in Badwani, MP, against "illegal" submergence, Gujarat oustees participate

Medha Patkar leads rally in Badwani
By Our Representative
A large number of Narmada dam oustees from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat thronged on the banks of river Narmada next to the Mahatma and Kasturba Gandhi Memorial in Badwani district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday to protest against the alleged injustice meted out to them the name of rehabilitation.
Begun under the banner Narmada Jal, Jangal, Jameen Haq Satyagrah on July 30, 2016 morning with a rally, the protesters highlighted how the Modi government, on coming to power in 2014, took a decision to “impose illegal submergence” by authorizing to complete the dam to its full height 138.68 meters.
This, they said, was in “violation” of the Supreme Court ruling that any “expedition of construction is has to precede complete rehabilitation of the dam oustees.”
The participants included adivasi oustees from different resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) sites, who have started an agitation and a relay hunger strike next to the Narmada dam site at Kevadia Colony. They are demanding basic facilities in their sites.
Senior activists from 15 states, including Karnataka, Kerala, UP, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkand, Uttaranchal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Haryana, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Delhi participated in the demonstration. 
Prominent among them were Biju Krishnan of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan from Karnataka, senior Gandhian Kumar Prashant who is associated with Gandhi Shanti Pratishthan, Delhi, Dr Sunilam of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and Vimalbhai of Matu Jansangathan, Uttarakhand.
Pointing towards how the proposal to close the Narmada dam’s gates would permanently displace more than 45,000 families, mostly adivasis, across 244 villages and Dharampuri town in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, they said, they faced “the grave risk of submergence of their farms and households”.
Speaking ahead of the satyagraha, water and dam specialist Major General Sudhir Vombadkere, from Mysore said, “The long struggling people’s movement has been deprived of legislative, governmental, and bureaucratic support. I have written to the Prime Minister, but have received no response.” 
Gujarat activist Bharatsinh Jhala, a land rights activist, said, “It was told that all the Gujarat villages will get irrigation. We haven't seen it being provided to any villages or farmers. Water is available only to industries. Water may have reached till Kutch, but only for industries, not for farmers, or adivasis.”
Jhala added, “2000 plus villages in Gujarat have seen full droughts and partial droughts repeatedly in the last few years but Narmada water has not reached them. We now understand that Medha Parkar is not anti-Gujarat, but the development model of the government is actually anti-Gujarat.”
Referring to the Justice Jha commission report, which is said to have exposed thousands of crores worth of corruption in rehabilitating Madhya Pradesh oustees, BR Patil, independent Karnataka MLA and ex-deputy-speaker, regretted it has not been made public. “It needs to be discussed in the assembly and among the general public”, he said.
Referring to the response from the Government of India to her letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) said she was disappointed to see it was a “regurgitation of a report from year 2000”, adding, “It even states that the dam will get completed in 2004! This is the degree of apathy with which the government is treating such grave problems in the lives of 45,000 families.”
The protesters said the claims about irrigation and drinking water benefits have proved untenable, with only 30-35 per cent irrigation canal network built in Gujarat.
Other issues highlighted included the decision to decommand four lakh hectares (ha) of land of the 18 lakh ha the proposed Narmada command area, how this was being done to favour industrial and investment activities in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), and how the state government had agreed to supply 30 lakh litres of Narmada water per day to Coca Cola and 60 lakh litres to car industries.

Comments

Anonymous said…
We're a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your website offered us with valuable information to paintings on. You have done an impressive task and our whole group will likely be thankful to you.

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).