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

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.