Skip to main content

Do not forcibly evict Narmada dam oustees till rehabilitation sites are prepared: Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Medha Patkar, others on fast in Chikhalda
Counterview Desk
Eighteen members of Parliament, include Sarad Yadav (JD-U) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) write letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking him to intervene in the Narmada dam controversy following the indefinite fast undertaken by Narmada Bachao Andolan. Text of the letter: 
We are sending this appeal to you in extraordinary circumstances when 40,000 families in 192 villages of Madhya Pradesh are on verge of facing submergence this Monsoon.
The resettlement and rehabilitation sites for them completely lack basic amenities and facilities like drinking water, sanitation, primary medical centers, schools, electricity, roads etc. In such a situation it is difficult for them to shift from their original villages to the R&R sites.
The Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award (NWDTA) clearly provided that after completion of the R&R, the Project Affected Families (PAFs) should be given 6 months time before submergence. This condition was emphasized in the Supreme Court judgments given in the year 2000 and 2005 in the Sardar Sarovar Case. The requirement of six months has been recognized, as part of Article 21 in Tehri dam case also. The Order dated 8.2.2017 of the Supreme Court also assured completion of R&R.
The Supreme Court in its judgments assured the PAFs, based on Art 21, that they would be better-off at the rehabilitation sites. The R&R of the PAFs ought to have been done as and when the dam height was raised. However, the State has failed to comply with this obligation. The oustees have not been provided land for land.
The benefit of 60 Lakhs and 15 Lakhs has still not been provided to all the PAFs who lost their land to enable them to purchase agricultural land for their livelihood. Many PAFs still await allotments of plots. It is only recently that state government has announced many packages. Many issues concerning R&R are still pending before the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA).
Looking at the plight of thousands of such PAFs, Medha Patkar and 11 others have gone on an indeifnite fast from July 27th. Today is the 9th day of the fast and their health condition is critical. Their only demand is that the rights of resettlement and rehabilitation, which have been given to the PAFs under the Award, and the judgments of the Honourable Supreme Court should be provided to them.
You may from your own resources verify the pitiable condition of the R&R sites and we are sure that you will be satisfied that it will be cruel and inhuman to compel thousands of PAFs to leave their villages and shift to the temporary tin shades which have been constructed by the state.
In these compelling circumstances, which involves thousands of men, women and children, we hope that you will intervene and ensure that till the R&R of the Oustees is completed and the rehabilitation sites are developed with all the amenities and facilities, PAFs will not be evicted forcibly.
We request you to send your representative to Chikalda, Badwani, MP, where Medha Patkar and 11 others are undertaking fast, assuring her of complete R&R of the PAFs and that till that is done they will not be forcibly evicted. We are sure that your assurance of completion of R&R will move Medha Patkar and others to end their fast, which they have undertaken for a great human cause.
We would also like to request you to give us a time to meet and brief you of the situation and personally request you the time. Kindly, give us a time, looking at the urgency of the situation.

Comments

TRENDING

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

As fear 'grips' right liberals, Arvind Panagariya, too, would be declared anti-national?

By Rajiv Shah
It is surely well-known by now that India's top people in the power-that-be have been castigating all those who disagree with them as "anti-nationals". Nothing unusual. If till yesterday only "secular liberals", and "left-liberals" were declared anti-national, facts, however, appear to have begun surfacing that, now, guns are being trained against those who could be qualified as right liberals, too. Let me be specific.

'First time' since 1970s poverty up 10%, consumer spending down 4%: GoI survey

By Our Representative
In what may prove to be a major embarrassment for the Government of India (GoI), a new official survey, carried out in 207-18, has reportedly said that average consumer spending in India fell by more than 4% the previous six years "primarily driven by slackening rural demand." The survey, "Key Indicators: Household Consumer Expenditure in India”, carried out by the National Statistical Office (NSO), says that money spent per person in a month fell by 3.7% from Rs 1,501 in 2011-12 to Rs 1,446 in 2017-18.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

National award winning film 'Hellaro' co-produced by three chartered accountants

By Our Representative
“Hellaro”, a Gujarati feature film produced by Saarthi Productions in association with Harfanmaula Films (Ahmedabad) was declared as the Best Feature Film at the National Film Awards which was conferred by the Government of India. The film also won the Special Jury Award for the Best Actress to all the 13 actresses of the film.
Ashish Patel produced the movie, which has been co-produced three co-producers, Aayush Patel, Prateek Gupta and Mit Jani, all of whom, interestingly, started their filmmaking journey after becoming Chartered Accountants in 2012.
“Hellaro” is directed by Abhishek Shah, who has been working in Gujarati theatre since the past 17 years as writer, director and actor and has received numerous awards for his plays. He has also worked as a casting director for 12 films.
“Hellaro” is a period drama based in Kutch and has been co-written by Abhishek Shah and Prateek Gupta. Gupta previously received the Best Debut Director Award, along with Mit Jan…