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

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.