Skip to main content

Only 300-400 Narmada dam oustee families left out, they didn't want rehabilitation package: Govt of India minister

Gehlot
By Our Representative
Tempers ran high in Government of India minister Thavarchand Gehlot’s chamber on Friday, when top Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar and her team met him to oppose the decision of to close down the Narmada dam’s 30-odd gates in Gujarat, which would allegedly displace to 40,000 dam oustees in Madhya Pradesh.
Countering the claim, Gehlot, social justice and empowerment minister, asserted that, according to the information he has received, just about 300-400 Narmada dam oustees need to be rehabilitated, but not account of the Madhya Pradesh government’s fault.
Contending these 300-400 people decided not to accept the rehabilitation package on their own volition, the minister continued saying, “everything has been completed”, when Patkar and her team pointed towards pathetic and unlivable condition of rehabilitation sites prepared to resettle oustee families.
Accompanying Patkar, the team – which included Vimal Bhai, Saumya Dutta, Himanshi Singh, and Ankita Agarwal – handed over a memorandum to the minister, which said even according to the Madhya Pradesh government’s own admission, the number of families to be rehabilitated were 18,346 of 141 villages and one town as on May 5, 2017, “while the actual number is double this number.”
During the meeting, in which social justice and empowerment secretary, Government of India, Latha Krishna Rau, was also present, Patkar asserted that the Dhar district collector had himself given directions that 6,132 oustee families should need to be “removed” from 76 villages by July 31, while the Badwani district collector was targeting 8,250 families of 57 villages. She wondered how the government could say that no one needs to be rehabilitated.
"So what if 8,000 families were affected? They have all been rehabilitated. Only 2-3 families are left out", senior Govt of India official
To this, Krishnarao replied, “You do not have the correct figures. So what if 8,000 families were affected? They have all been rehabilitated. Only 2-3 families are left out, they will all be rehabilitated by July 31”. She added, “Every facility has been given to the displaced families. Temples and mosques will be removed with people’s consent.”
An NBA demonstration in Delhi
against gates closure
When the senior bureaucrat continued with “tenders are out” for completing the work at the rehabilitation sites, Patkar shot back, “If tenders are out, when will the work at the rehabilitation sites begin? When will people get a respectable place to live in? And where did you get your information? Do you know 28,500 trees are being chopped and 25,000 cattle would be affected in eight villages alone? It seems you are being made the scapegoat.”
When the bureaucrat tried telling Patkar that the latter cannot talk like this sitting in the “honourable minister’s chamber”, well-known environmentalist Saumya Dutta told the official, “I have myself visited the valley for several times. I have personally talked with people. Thousands of people remain to be rehabilitated. You do not have seem to have the real picture with you.”
And when Vimal Bhai, social activist, asked the bureaucrat to provide a complete list of people who have been rehabilitated to ascertain whether the claim is correct, the official left the chamber, saying, “You can file a right to information (RTI) report. There is no point talking to you.”

Comments

TRENDING

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.