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

Bill Gates as funder, author, editor, adviser? Data imperialism: manipulating the metrics

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  When Mahatma Gandhi on invitation from Buckingham Palace was invited to have tea with King George V, he was asked, “Mr Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the King?” Gandhi retorted, “Do not worry about my clothes. The King has enough clothes on for both of us.”

Stagnating wages since 2014-15: Economists explain Modi legacy for informal workers

By Our Representative  Real wages have barely risen in India since 2014-15, despite rapid GDP growth. The country’s social security system has also stagnated in this period. The lives of informal workers remain extremely precarious, especially in states like Jharkhand where casual employment is the main source of livelihood for millions. These are some of the findings presented by economists Jean Drèze and Reetika Khera at a press conference convened by the Loktantra Bachao 2024 campaign. 

Displaced from Bangladesh, Buddhist, Hindu groups without citizenship in Arunachal

By Sharma Lohit  Buddhist Chakma and Hindu Hajongs were settled in the 1960s in parts of Changlang and Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh after they had fled Chittagong Hill Tracts of present Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and a dam disaster. Their original population was around 5,000, but at present, it is said to be close to one lakh.

Anti-Rupala Rajputs 'have no support' of numerically strong Kshatriya communities

By Rajiv Shah  Personally, I have no love lost for Purshottam Rupala, though I have known him ever since I was posted as the Times of India representative in Gandhinagar in 1997, from where I was supposed to do political reporting. In news after he made the statement that 'maharajas' succumbed to foreign rulers, including the British, and even married off their daughters them, there have been large Rajput rallies against him for “insulting” the community.

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

India's "welcome" proposal to impose sin tax on aerated drinks is part of to fight growing sugar consumption

By Amit Srivastava* A proposal to tax sugar sweetened beverages like tobacco in India has been welcomed by public health advocates. The proposal to increase sin taxes on aerated drinks is part of the recommendations made by India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill in the parliament of India.

Turkey meet tries to 'resurrect' Maoism, seeks to apply people’s war concept universally

By Harsh Thakor*  An International Maoist Symposium was organized by Umut Publishing on 6-7th April in Turkey commemorating 130th birthday of Mao Tse Tung. On the first day of the symposium two sessions were staged. The first session started with Volkan Yaraşır’s presentation on “Dialectics of the Chinese Revolution and Mao Zedong”.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).