Skip to main content

Apprehending massive submergence, 10-km human chain along Narmada river opposes Govt of India move on dam gates

By Our Representative
The powerful anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), stepped up pressure on Monday by creating a unique 10 km long human chain against the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), which is to meet on May 9 to decide on closing the Narmada dam’s gates, saying such a step would submerge 244 villages and a town.
The NCA is the Government of India's inter-state body established under the Narmada (Water Dispute) Tribunal Award, is to finalize the dam’s height and other issues related with the Narmada project, including rehabilitating dam oustees.
Participated by nearly 5,000 people from the Narmada valley, the human chain touched on borders of living village communities and on the banks of the river. The protesters raised slogans and placards against closing the dam’s gates, which would allow the dam’s reservoir to store water up to 139 meters.
In a statement NBA said, “After 31 years struggle, 15,000 families have been rehabilitated, but very few of them have been resettled in Madhya Pradesh. Nearly 40,000 families live in the villages which face submergence.”
Project affected persons – women, men, children, farmers, fishermen, potters and labours –blocked Rajghat Bridge on the river in Badwani, on the border of Gujarat, holding a public meeting there.
Among those who joined the human chain included former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh, a known Narmada dam votary of yester-years, along with his Congress supporters.
Participants said, thousands of families are yet to get the new package in lieu of land, announced by the Supreme Court. “Thousands of landless have not received any package”, one of them, Devram Kanhera, said.
Added Pemal Behan from Dhanora village, “We can’t build our houses with meager compensation. The resettlement sites are not ready and widows, poor single women have no support to raise a plinth.”
People from scheduled areas, especially tribals, said they would hold special Gram Sabhas in the coming days and pass resolutions bringing out facts and figures related to balanced rehabilitation. 
Their resolutions will form the legal basis for any further decision.
Addressing protesters, NBA leader Medha Patkar said, “Lack of monitoring of rehabilitation and environmental measures have resulted in fraudulent reports and affidavits on compensation to the dam oustees.”
Meanwhile, in a statement, prominent citizens, including CPI-M’s farmers’ leader Hannan Mollah, well-known religious leader Swami Agnivesh, socialist Dr Sunilam, activist Vimal Bhai, and journalist Sumit Chakravarty said that “it is a countdown towards impounding waters in the 214 km land stretch where more than 40,000 families are residing till date.”
“There are standing crops and massive plantations; thousands of pucca houses, schools, other public and private services erected; hundreds of temples, tens of mosques (as opposed to three temples claimed by the authorities), adivasi gods and worship places, all of which will be submerged”, they said.
“There are lakhs of trees in the submergence area. People are continuing with their daily lives, and except for a few villages in the hilly mountainous region, falling in Alirajpur district, all other villages in the plains, at least 150 have large populations (hundreds of families in each) with functioning panchayats”, they added.

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.