Skip to main content

Anti-Narmada dam oustees continue protest as MP govt issues alert on threat of flooding of Rajghat, Badwani

The bridge which has begun overflowing
By Our Representative
Amidst Narmada waters rising in “feet and meters”, to quote anti-Narmada dam activists protesting against the alleged refusal to rehabilitate an estimated 15,500 project-affected families, the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government has issued an alert about possible flooding of low lying areas of Badwani and the nearby regions in upstream of the dam.
The alert has been issued even as the Gujarat government prepared itself to “celebrate” overflow of the Narmada dam as a result of huge waters gushing from the upstream. Already, thousands of tourists from across the state are rushing the overflowing dam.
The MP government alert has been sounded amidst two other big dams upstream of the Narmada dam, Omkareshwar Indira Sagar, opened their five and eight gates respectively. This became inevitable as the water levels of the Omkareshwar dam crossed 191 metres, and of Indira Sagar dam crossed 260.4 metres.
The warning comes as hundreds of activists sitting in protest on the banks of Narmada river at Rajghat, Badwani, since July 30, 2016. According to the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which has organized the protest, the levels – 191 metres and 260.4 metres – of the two dams “had to be maintained” in order to ensure that there is no further submergence.
Meanwhile, the state government has evicted shopkeepers in the immediate downstream of Omkareshwar, which is also a religious-cultural centre, even as waters have reached Rajghat, submerging the first temple on the bank of Narmada.
The Narmada water rose from 15 to 17 feet above the Rajghat Bridge in less than 24 hours, cutting off villages in Dhar district on the opposite (northern) bank of the river from Rajghat in Badwani. Earlier, the gates of two smaller dams, Tawa and Bargi, on Narmada in MP, were opened to allow flood waters to move to the downstream.
At Rajghat, the satyagrahis are sitting in batches, in teams from four villages from four tehsils every day. In a symbolic gesture against refusal to rehabilitate thousands of Narmada dam oustees, they planted trees around Gandhi Samadhi. There is a strong fear that decades of trees may go into submergence.
A section of the Narmada satyagrahis knocked at the doors of Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) in Badwani. Shouting slogans ‘no rehabilitation, no dam’, women and men belonging to several villages, Amlali, Pipri, Kasrawad, Pichhodi, Semalda and Ekalbara, sought answers to questioned on their status from the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Officer.
They confronted the official claim of the Madhya Pradesh government that there is zero balance in rehabilitation. While the NBA activists said 15,500 oustees families remained to be rehabilitated, the official accepted that “at least 700” are yet to get land and/or compensation, as their applications are pending before the Grievances Redressal Authority (GRA), which is supposed to take complaints on rehabilitation.
Answering questions on disaster management plan, the official failed to show that any such plan exists for those living on the Narmada river banks and might go into submergence as the water levels rise.
The NBA commented, “It may be noted that there have to be District, State and Central Disaster Management Authorities which could plan and implement measures for mitigation and compensation as well as protection of thousands of families who are to face submergence.”
It adds, “No plan seems to be available with the state, though there is an order of the Chief Justice of the Madhya Pradesh High Court directing the state to prepare it for the whole of Narmada Valley.”

Comments

ALSO READ

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.

Poor response to tenders for Gujarat's bid for the world's tallest statue, no international firm shows interest

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government’s claim that its decision to build the world’s highest statue in the world, in the memory of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, would attract “tremendous” response top international construction companies, has gone phut. The state government floated international tenders in August to build the statue, which is slated to be 182-metres high. Despite the “international” character of the tenders and big claims, well-informed Sachivalaya sources close to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi say, “not one international firm has come up to offer to carry out the construction activity.”

Hyderabad-based Urdu university "bars" entry of its new chancellor, who had "initiated" reforms in institute

Counterview Desk
In an unusual controversy, Aslam Parvaiz, vice-chancellor of of the Hyderabad-based Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) has restricted the entry of its newly appointed Chancellor, Firoz Bakht Ahmed, allegedly because he was trying to initiate reforms, including setting up of a Maulana Azad Center for Composite Culture and Progressive Studies, Model Madrasa, Center for Empowerment of Muslim Women, Course for the Development of Legal Vocabulary and Legal Consciousness in Urdu, and so on.