Skip to main content

Narmada dam's tribal oustees warned: They would lose compensation claim, as they didn't accept Land Bank offer

Medha Patkar with PAFs at NVDA office, Indore
By Our Representative
The Madhya Pradesh (MP) government has issued a controversial notice to hundreds of project affected families (PAFs) of Gujarat's Narmada dam, belonging to tens of villages of Badwani and Dhar districts of MP, stating that, since they haven’t accepted the land allocated to them by the Land Bank, their “eligibility for alternative agricultural land has exhausted.”
Issues by MP's rehabilitation officer of the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA), the notice, quoted by the anti-dam Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), states that if the PAFs do not collect compensation in lieu of the land “within 2-4 days” (i.e. by December 30, 2016), which is up to Rs 3 lakh, they would be deemed as rehabilitated, and the amount would be deposited with the Revenue Department.
According to NBA, PAFs were given the first installment of Rs 2.79 lakh years ago on rejecting the "poor quality" land they were offered years ago, while they have been offered “balance amount” of Rs 2.50 lakh now.
Questioning the compensation amount, asks NBA, “The cost of 5 acres irrigated land at present is estimated to be between Rs 50 lakh-2 crore. If land can be bought for Rs 2.50-3 lakh, then why doesn’t the authority buy it itself and then allocate it?”
NBA quotes an honorary member of the Grievances Redressal Authority (GRA), which has been hearing the plea against such little compensation, as saying, “Where will we provide the land from? It has become so expensive. If you can’t buy the land, then buy a tractor with that money. You won’t get land even in ten years.”
Wonders NBA, “Without hearing and without any order from GRA, how can NVDA or GRA take any decision? Does depositing the amount in revenue exchequer mean ensuring rehabilitation with land and/or livelihood? This move is an absolute violation of law the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award (NWDTA) as well as judgments of the High Court of MP and the Apex Court.”
NBA claims, PAFs were offered land that was “totally uncultivable, rocky, hilly or encroached since years”, hence they “rejected the same”. Worse, “in many cases, they were never informed of the land offer mentioned in the notices issued to hundreds during the last few days.”
Considering this fraudulent, Mayaram, son of Sukya, Village Pichhodi, Badwani district has filed a case against the rehabilitation officials for conspiring to violate the right to land of the tribals, “which is a crime under sections 3, 4, 5 of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989”, says NBA.
Sumanbai of Pichhodi village is all set to take up the matter similarly. Referring to a notice he received from a rehabilitation officer, she says, he received a notice stating that he had denied the land allocated to her by the land bank, hence “she must collect her second installment within the stipulated date.”
Adds Kalabai she never received the notice of a plot being allotted to her, yet recently received the notice of collecting her second installment as her eligibility for allocated land has exhausted due to her non-acceptance of the same.
Meanwhile, hundreds of PAFs, under NBA leader Medha Patkar, gathered in front of NVDA’s rehabilitation office in Indore on December 30, questioning the the rehabilitation officer, MP, seeking an explanation why were such “fraudulent, threatening notices” were being issued and under whose instructions.
“He admitted that it was done under the oral instructions from the Commissioner (NVDA)”, claims NBA.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.