Skip to main content

27,147 Narmada dam affected families yet to be rehabilitated, NBA estimates ahead of Aug 8 Apex Court hearing

By Our Representative
In a fresh estimate released by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which is leading its last-ditch battle for thousands of oustee, living in Madhya Pradesh, of the Sardar Sarovar dam across the state border in Gujarat, there are in 39,197 project-affected families (PAFs) of 193 villages, out of which just 12,050 are living in rehabilitation sites, while the rest, 27,147, are still living in their villages, and refused to move out.
Providing village-wise details, the details say, of the PAFs who haven't left their villages though might face submergence, there are 5,712 PAFs of Barwani tehsil, 8,077 PAFs of Kushki tehsil, 3,180 PAFs of Manavar tehsil, 3,843 PAFs of Thikri tehsil, 1,065 PAFs of Kasravad tehsil, 516 PAFs of Alirajpur tehsil, 29 PAFs of Maheshwar tehsil, and 4,725 PAFs of Dharampuri tehsil. These PAFs live in 181 villages.
Released ahead of a crucial Supreme Court hearing on August 8 seeking full and final rehabilitation of all 39,000 PAFs before Gujarat's politically sensitive dam's 30-odd gates are closed down to store waters up to the full reservoir level of 138.64 metres, the data show that except for Alirajpur tehsil, elsewhere rehabilitation is extremely tardy.
Meanwhile, as NBA leader Medha Patkar and her supporters' hunger strike, which entered the seventh day on Wednesday, continues in order to press upon the Government of India to withdraw its permission to close down the gates, as it would cause havoc in 193 villages, the protest is gathering increasing support from across the country.
In Delhi, those who sat on protest included well-known academic Yogendra Yadav of the Swarajya India, Dr Sunilam of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Alok Agrawal of the Aam Aadmi Party, Magsaysay award winning RTI activist and intellectual Aruna Roy, former Justice Rajinder Sachar, Annie Raja of the All-India Women's Federation, Nikhil Dey of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Kavita Srivastava of the People's Union for Civil Liberties, environmentalist Saumya Dutta, Faisal Khan of the Khdai Khitmatdar, among other.
In Vadodara, Gujarat, tens of activists observed one-day fast in support of Patkar and others, led by well-known environmentalist Rohit Prajapati of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti. Others who joined in included villagers from south Saurashtra region, who fought their way to oust the proposed nuclear plant at Mithi Virdi. Those who sat on the fast were activists Jyotibhai Desai, Swati Desai, Lakhan Musafir, Anand Mazgaonkar, Harish Desai, Deepali Ghelani, Rita Choksi, Kamal Thakar, among others.
In a statement issued by activists at the end of the fast in Vadodara, they said, "for more than last 30 years there is a protest/movement going on for people’s rights in the project affected areas of the Narmada Valley."
It adds, "An imminent danger of displacement looms large on 40,000 people of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Even in the absence of proper plans for rehabilitation, the concerned authority decided to close the gates of Sardar Sarovar dam on July 31 this year. It is not understood what the government is trying to prove by doing so when there is no effective usage of its water right now."
"For timely redressal of the issues faced by the affected villages, Medha Patkar along with other activists and villagers is on indefinite fast in Chikhalda village of Madhya Pradesh", it said, adding, Vadodara activists, as part of their all-India protest, sat on "symbolic fast to express their solidarity with the affected people."
In a separate statement, NBA has sharply criticized the Madhya Pradesh government for providing "misleading" information to the state assembly by not mentioning the names of religious spots of backward classes, Dalits and Muslims that would be submerged in Kukshi tehsil. "This shows that the government is not serious in respecting the feelings of the common people", it said.
In Chikhalda village of Kukshi tehsil, where Patkar is continuing her hunger strike, the school children took out a rally in her support. The children carried placards saying that they do not want their school to go into submergence.
NBA claimed, the online petition floated by a former Indian Institute of Management-Kolkata professor asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and stop the "imminent disaster" by closing the gates of the dam, has received support from 29 countries across the world.

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.