Skip to main content

Narmada valley villagers hold jal satyargaha to protest dam gates closure, AAP to launch yatra from August 1

By Our Representative
On the third day of indefinite fast in the Narmada Valley, hundreds of villagers entered the Narmada waters and observed jal satyagraha, "challenging" the Madhya Pradesh government’s "plan" to displace 40,000 families by closing gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam allegedly without any rehabilitation in the Narmada Valley.
Shyama Behn, Bhagirath Dhangar, Saraswati Behn, Devram Kanera and others, who took part in jal satyagraha at Badwani, off Gujarat border, speaking on the occasion, asked chief minister Shivraj Chauhan, whether 40,000 families of Narmada valley, millions of trees, their cattle, farm-barn, temple-mosques, schools and entire ancient civilization were not a part of India.
"Can’t the government, pretending to give water to Gujarat, see the people of Madhya Pradesh, their livelihood, forests and rivers? Will the Narmada Valley be sacrificed by the government for the private profit?” they asked.
They continued, “Shivraj Singh Chauhan says he will not allow any sewage to come in Narmada, but will he allow uprooting lakhs of the people? Does he think that Narmada needs the blood of its children? No mother wants the blood of its own children then why is the government willing to sacrifice their life for the sake of Gujarat?” 
Ramesh Patel, MLA, Badwani (Congress) came to the venue where Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar and others are sitting on hunger strike, and extended his full support to her.
Shailesh, a project affected person belonging to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came along with 10 other supporters to lend his support, announcing that from August 1 the party would launch Save Project Affected and Save Madhya Pradesh yatra. Those who would join the campaign include party MP Bhagwant Mann and state party convener Alok Agarwal.
Congress and AAP leaders said, heavy rains in Gujarat have completely exposed the current situation where the branch canals are not ready and not managed, but still the politics over Narmada water is being played.
Even as the jal sstyagraha is on a large number of National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) detachments have reached Badwani. NBA said, "This clearly shows that despite knowing about the tragedy, the government is deliberately working against the people. As the water level increases, there will be havoc in the valley, a completely man made disaster."
Reports from say, in Gujarat, all the Narmada canals are flooded, suggesting Narmada waters cannot hope to go to the farmers. 
As for Madhya Pradesh, it does not need power produced at the Narmada dam's power house because it is suffering from excess capacity, purchasing power from private power ventures at a very high cost, even as shutting down the government power ventures.
"There is no need of water from the dam or electricity, then why is the state of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh forcing flooding and submergence in 192 villages of Madhya Pradesh by closing the dam gates?", an NBA communique says.
It adds, "Gujarat is in the midst of floods, the government is giving compensation of Rs 50,000 to the flood affected people in Gujarat and Rs 2.5 lakh to the dead. Such a situation could have been averted in Gujarat if the government had planned decentralized water planning to manage excess water."
Insisting that at the current level of water in the dam, there is enough water for the irrigation and drinking purposes, NBA says, "Water is being diverted for the Coca Cola and car factories located in the Narmada command area."
Meanwhile, support from across the country continued, with a number of solidarity programmes being held. These included protest by the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti in Tapti Sarovar of Multai, Madhya Pradesh; by Mahakaushal support groups, which includes CPM, AAP, Barghi Dam Visthapit Sangh, and others; and by several groups in Bhopal.
Others who held solidarity programmes were Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Kisan Sabha, Chutka Parmanu Sanyatr Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti, Janvadi Mahila Samiti, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Sangha, Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, Aadivasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, Manav Adhikar Seva Sangh, Dalit Adhikar Sangh, and Bundelkh and Mazdoor Kisan Shakti.

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.