Skip to main content

18,390 Narmada dam oustees "yet to be rehabilitated", as Govt of India claims it's "satisfied" with R&R

NBA protest outside Water Resources Ministry grate, Delhi
By Our Representative
A high-level civil society delegation, which met delegation Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharati, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Amarjit Singh and Joint Secretary Sanjay Kundu, has been told that the Narmada dam’s gates were closed down after "evaluating" the recommendations made of the environment and rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) sub-group.
Comprising of Vimal Bhai from Matu Jan Sangathan, Manoj from All-India Kisan Sabha, Madhuresh Kumar, and Himshi Singh and Uma from National Alliance of People’s Movements, the delegation was further told that they were “satisfied” with the recommendations of the two subgroups.
The delegation met the minister and officials even as NBA leader Medha Patkar alleged that the closure of the Narmada dam’s gates in Gujarat, “except two because of a technical problem”, will lead to “submergence and related forcible eviction, in effect washing off somewhere around 18390 families of 141 villages as per the Madhya Pradesh government gazette notification of May 27.”
Patkar, in an email alert to Counterview, said, the actual numbers are at the highest flood level are “much higher as per field surveys”, yet Vijay Rupani, chief minister of Gujarat and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have “announced a large celebration at the dam site at the end of July and Narmada Yatra across Gujarat.”
What is shocking is, said Patkar, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan “hasn't uttered a word, rather has given silent consent to take a toll on more than 2.5 lakh in the submergence area.”
The Government of India response came even as the delegation sought copies of the recommendations by the sub-groups “so that inaccuracies be exposed and brought to the notice”, a Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) source, which organized the civil society meeting at the ministry, said.
It added, “The delegation told the minister and the government officials that the Ministry was ‘willfully’ choosing to read the Supreme Court judgment ‘in a certain light’ neglecting ‘the complete failure to prepare R&R sites and has buckled under the political pressure.”
The delegation also sought recommendations of the report of the six teams of the Central Water Commission, which made a visit to R&R sites on June 7-9 and submitted their report on June 11. NBA said, its activists “confronted the six teams, which went to Dhar and Badwani districts, and asked them to visit certain sites; yet they dodged the activists.”
In a statement following the meeting, which was preceded by a demonstration on the ministry’s gates in Delhi, the NBA said, “It is shameful that the lives of the people affected by the dam in Madhya Pradesh are only numbers for them and there is a complete abdication of their responsibility to monitor the situation on the ground.”
All but two gates of Narmada dam closed down
“This was amply visible in the conversation between the delegation and the ministry officials, who continued to ask for numbers and names of the sites. The Ministry has every data with them and they have simply chosen to close their eyes and put the stamp on the false information given by the government of Madhya Pradesh”, the statement alleged.
Asking the minister and the secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, to “to face the people in Narmada Valley and see for themselves R&R claims”, the NBA called the closure of “undemocratic and unjust”.
“This paves the way for imminent submergence of 192 villages and one township of Madhya Pradesh this monsoon”, it said, adding, “Citing Supreme Court order of February 2017, the decision has been taken to close down the gates without verifying actual ground conditions in Madhya Pradesh.”
Pointing out that “the claims of the almost complete disbursement of the compensation, as per the Supreme Court judgment, is not true, since a number of applications are still pending in front of the Grievance Redressal Authority in Madhya Pradesh”, the NBA said, “In these matters, the claims of the project affected families for disbursement of the appropriate amount for the land lost hasn’t been settled yet.”

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.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

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.”