Skip to main content

Madhya Pradesh's 2.5 lakh people of 192 villages, one town "to face submergence": Narmada dam gates closed

Narmada dam's gates being closed
By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded statement, well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), has described the Gujarat government announcement to close down the Sardar Sarovar Dam’s 30-odd gates as based on “false” representation of the ground realities.
“People of the valley are determined to fight against the evil forces which are anti-farmer, anti-development, and anti-land”, the statement said, pointing out that it would be met with stiff resistance, especially in Madhya Pradesh.
The announcement came following the Friday meeting of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), where Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra governments jointly agreed that since the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) of the project affected families (PAFs) was “over”, the gates could be closed and water could be filled up to 138.68 meters as against 121.92 metres as of now.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, accompanied by his deputy Nitin Patel, visited the dam site on Saturday morning to observe the gates’ closure, which, it was claimed, would increase the dam’s storage capacity from 1.4 MAF (million acre feet) to 4.75 MAF. The leaders expected this would help uninterrupted supply was water to Saurashtra and North Gujarat for irrigation, drinking water and industry.
Coming ahead of the elections, scheduled late this year, the gates’ closure is being interpreted as having been in accordance with the recent Supreme Court order, which wanted all the formalities for R&R, especially in Madhya Pradesh, to be completed before July 31.
The state BJP rulers have planned a grand show in July-end or August first week, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to make a big show, announcing “completion” of the Sardar Sarovar project. A Narmada Yatra has also been planned.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani at dam site
In its statement, NBA said, the documents, including the official reports and affidavits before the Supreme Court, as also orders of the Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRAs) in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat, suggest that R&R remains incomplete, and the gates would be closed in “violation of the legal regime”, including the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award (NWDTA) and Supreme Court judgments.
“At least 40,000 families and 2.5 lakh people reside in the 192 villages of Madhya Pradesh and one town, which have been declared project affected. They are to be forcibly removed, if they do not move out with whatever little they have receive as R&R benefit”, the statement said.
Pointing out that there are “continuous protests going on in each of the affected districts and villages in Badwani, Dhar and Khargone” districts of Madhya Pradesh, the NBA said, “It’s obvious from the recent writ petition filed before the Indore High Court that even the latest order of the Supreme Court has not complied with.”
It added, “The R&R sites are not ready with civic amenities mandatory under the law for which tenders are being issued. The disbursement of the new package in lieu of land, directed by the Supreme Court, is far from complete. A few thousand applications by the eligible beneficiaries are pending before the GRA, Madhya Pradesh. Hundreds are pending before the GRA, Maharashtra, and GRA, Gujarat too.”

Comments

TRENDING

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.

History 'will remember' 2019 for silencing dissent, democracy, human rights

By V Suresh*
In the annals of contemporary Indian human rights history 2019 will be marked as the year when the Indian state – the Government of India – exhibited its near total disdain for human rights and rule of law by committing, not by individual or localized acts of human rights abuse alone; in a dramatic manner, the Government exhibited its might in a colossal, huge, collective and fearsome manner its utter disrespect for constitutional values and ethics and that it considered fundamental freedoms and human rights as mere scraps of paper.

Food security? Tribals rendered 'niraadhaar' without aadhaar in Gujarat's Adivasi belt

By Pankti Jog*
Government data on Universal Identity (UID) or aadhaar website may show a coverage of up to 95% till March 2019. But ground realities are not so glorious. In fact, villages of Devgadh Baria block of Dahod, a predominantly Adivasi district in Gujarat's eastern tribal belt, are facing the bitter truth: That you are virtually a niraadhar (orphan) without an aadhaar number.

Assam Foreigners Tribunals: How procedures, laws failed to consider gender discrimination

Counterview Desk
Even as criticising India's courts, especially the Supreme Court and the Guwahati High Court, for complicitity towards exclusion and abuse perpetuated through the Foreigners Tribunals set up across Assam to identify who all are "genuine citizens", well-known NGO Amnesty International in its recent  report, "Designed to Exclude: How India's Courts are Allowing Foreigners Tribunals to Render People Stateless in Assam" says,  the whole system has had harsh impact on the lives of women.