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
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

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

Lynching as state terror? Complete dearth of 'political will' to deal with mob violence

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On Friday July 5, thousands of people had gathered at a rally in Surat to protest against the growing mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. There are different interpretations at what happened during the rally: with police blaming the rallyists and those in the rally blaming the police for using teargas shells upon them without any reason.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

UN report notes 'suppression' of Kashmiri independence groups in Pakistan

By Our Representative
A top United Nations (UN) body has suggested that the intense fervour of Kashmiri nationalism isn’t just sweeping the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) state but is equally strong in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), pointing towards how the Pak authorities have been seeking to suppress it by placing restrictions on rights to freedoms of expression and opinion, assembly and association on every section of PoK’s population.

Campaign 'victory': Bihar considers ban on asbestos, carcinogenic to humans

Counterview Desk
In a major victory for anti-asbestos campaigners, the Bihar government has said that it is considering an immediate ban on use of asbestos&based products of all kinds in the state. Speaking in the state assembly, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar insisted on the need to taking a strong policy decision against carcinogenic asbestos factories.
A communication, meanwhile, has been forwarded  to the health secretary by Kumar, referring to concerns of Dr Gopal Krishna, who heads the Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) "on hazardous asbestos factories to the health department." Krishna said that the health department should looking into the demand for the creation of a register of victims of asbestos related diseases.
He added, the government should also create a register asbestos laden buildings and products in general and a probe on the health status of workers, their families and communities linked to and in proximity of the two units of asbestos factories…

Satellite data 'identify' Gujarat's Mundra among 6 of India's top air pollution hotspots

By Rajiv Shah
A fresh study, which analyzes data between February 2018 and May 2019, obtained from Tropomi, a satellite instrument on board the Dutch Copernicus Sentinel-5 Precursor satellite, has warned that coal-fired power plants and industrial clusters are India’s “worst nitrogen oxides (NOx) hotspots” contributing hugely to air pollution in Sonbhadra-Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Korba in Chhattisgarh, Talcher in Odisha, Chandrapur in Maharashtra, Mundra in Gujarat and Durgapur in West Bengal.