Skip to main content

Narmada dam-affected fisherfolk don't yet have fishing rights in Madhya Pradesh, admits top Central official

Narmada official talking with fisherfolk in Maharashtra village
By Our Representative
A senior Government of India official has admitted that the Madhya Pradesh government has not provided fishing rights to the fisherfolk-oustees of the Sardar Sarovar dam, living on the banks of Narmada. Narmada Control Authority's (NCA's) Afroz Ahmed was in Mararashtra's Bhusha village for an interaction with the state’s fisherfolk ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday bash at the dam on September 17.
Even as conceding to a similar longstanding demand of Maharashtra oustees, living next to the Narmada river, Ahmed, who is learnt to have been sent to mellow down their anger, on the rise following "failure" to provide any facilities to them as part of the rehabilitation packages to offered to the Narmada dam oustees, said, he takes "full responsibility" for providing fishing rights to 17 fishing cooperatives operating along Narmada.
The NCA official’s meeting with Maharashtra's fisherfolk followed the state government agreeing to form fisherfolk's cooperatives to the struggling oustees of Manibeli, Shelgada, Chichkhedi and Khardi villages, even as distributing them fishing nets to them. On hearing of the NCA official's visit, fisherfolk representatives from Madhya Pradesh villages joined in to raise their demands.
Ahmed, who was seen to answer all questions related to the fisherrfolks' problems following the Government of India nod to close down of the dam's gates, leading to the reservoir level reaching 138.68 metres, the full height, however, avoided any reply to queries on why 15,000 oustees have been kept out of the rehabilitation package. These oustees have been kept outside of the package because of "recalculation" of the backwater levels.

A senior Narmada official, talking to Counterview on condition of anonymity, said, the backwater levels have been recalculated at a "much lower level" than the earlier level because “a previous Madhya Pradesh government, hyped the backward levels to extract as huge Central funds in the name of oustees."
However, he insisted, the recalculation showed the Narmada's backwater waters wouldn't rise as much as earlier contemplated at the full reservoir level."
Meanwhile, a memorandum submitted to Ahmed, the anti-dam Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), under whose auspices most of the fisherfolk had gathered, appreciated the NCA official for holding direct dialogue with them, even as objecting to Modi’s birthday bash on September 17 in order to “dedicate” the dam to the nation.
The memorandum said, “Even basic environmental preconditions in Maharashtra, a prerequisite for completing the dam, have not been fulfilled till date”.
The facts enumerated in the memorandum included the failure to treat the 20,000 hectares (ha) dam’s catchment area out of 67,000 ha, failure to plant trees in lieu of 40-50,000 destroyed because of submergence, and failure to develop 33 villages, whose land went into submergence.

Providing specific problems of villages, the memorandum said, there are no health facilities in Akkakua and Akrani villages; there is a failure to look into the complaints of rehabilitation of 950 families, which have not received either land or irrigation facilities; failure to survey 226 families of the Tapu village; forest rights to forest dwellers have not been provided; and there is incomplete construction of several rehabilitation colonies, including Kathardedigar, Mod and Kukalav. 

Comments

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

Dalits rights meet planned on how citizenship law 'negates' Ambedkar's equality focus

By Our Representative
A Dalit rights meet has been planned at the Dalit Shakti Kendra (DSK), Sanand, Ahmedabad district, to discuss implications of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed by Parliament on December 10-11, for Dalits, Adivasis and other marginalized sections. Announcing the decision, DSK director Martin Macwan said, the meet would take place on December 25, 2019, at 11.00 am, to commemorate the anniversary of burning of copies of Manusmriti by Dr BR Ambedkar.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.