Skip to main content

Ahead of Modi's birthday bash, Narmada waters rise to 128.5 metres in valley, enter Rajghat, Nisarpur, other villages

By Our Representative
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi goes ahead with his unprecedented birthday bash at the Narmada dam on September 17, reports from the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh say the water levels have risen to 128.50 metres, higher than ever before, with waters entering starting to enter Rajghat and Nisarpur villages in Badwani district. Rajghat shot into prominence recently after the state administration tried to "demolish" the Gandhi Samadhi, where the ashes of the Mahatma, Kasturba and Mahadev Desai have been kept.
The anti-dam Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), in an urgent email alert, has said that waters have also entered into several other villages in Dhar district. The communique alleged, the water levels have been “continuously rising after release of large amount of water from unfilled dams just to celebrate the Narmada mahotsav on Modi's birthday.”
Reiterating that a large number of affected families haven’t yet received housing plots and compensation entitled to them, the release said, “Thousands of applications remain unheard before the Grievance Redressal Authority, leaving no options to the families but to protest on streets.”
Seeking popular support to represent before the elected representatives as well as senior government officials, the appeal says, the government must “immediately stop filling the Sardar Sarovar dam till the rehabilitation is complete as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) award, state policy and many court judgments.”
Wanting concerned citizens to make urgent calls and send emails to the President of India, the Prime Minister, the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, senior ministers and officials, the communique said, the dam’s reservoir is spread 214 kilometers upstream in the three states, and will affect 192 villages and one town, and this would be adversely affected.
Of these, it said, 150 villages, which are in the plains, and have highest density of population, would be severely affected, it said, estimating, “There are at least 40,000 families residing in the submergence area today.”
Meanwhile, the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Gujarat’s well-known environmental group, which operates from Vadodara, in a separate statement, has taken strong except to Modi’s birthday bash, saying, while about 14,000 Narmada dam oustees have been resettled in Gujarat, “Madhya Pradesh allotted land to hardly 53 families in its own state.”
“As per the NWDT award, Gujarat had to give land to 5,500 families from Madhya Pradesh and 777 families from Maharashtra, while the rest of the oustees chose to resettle in their own state”, the statement, signed, among others, by prominent environmentalist Rohit Prajapati, said, adding, “The Madhya Pradesh government decided to give cash in lieu of land”, leading to “fake registries, scam and derailment of policy depriving thousands of families of their due entitlements in rehabilitation.”
The statement said, protest relay fast of oustees, begun on July 15 last year, continued at Kevadia colony, off Narmada dam, four about a year, demanding “completing rehabilitation”, amidst reports that the oustees who were allocated land 15-20 years have received notices to vacate them for government’s alleged development needs.
“The Prime Minister and his party should realise that their honeymoon is over. Three years of bluff, bluster, empty promises, pompous announcements, jamborees, foreign junkets, photo-shoots with world leaders can neither drown out sane voices nor will questions people ask about concrete performance”, the statement concludes.

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

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.

Proposed expansion of Karnataka N-plant "ignores" worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima

Counterview Desk
EAS Sarma, former secretary, Government of India (GoI), in a letter addressed to secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, with copies to chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and chairman Karnataka Pollution Control Board, has said that radiation and environmental risks have been ignored in DAE’s proposal to set up Units 5 & 6 (2X700MWe) at Kaiga Nuclear Power Station in Karnataka.