Skip to main content

Three BJP chief ministers, 2000 Varanasi priests didn't attend Modi's Narmada dam birthday bash; it failed: NBA

By Our Representative
In a statement issued in the aftermath of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's birthday bash, Medha Patkar, leader of the anti -dam movement Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), has said the "dedication of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) to the nation" on September 17 "was a complete failure", as the chief ministers of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh did not turn up for the grand ceremony.
Pointing out that only Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani came for the function even though it was announced that BJP ruled CMs of all four " project beneficiary" states would participate, Patkar, who along with other senior NBA activists issued the statement, said, "The 2,000 priests from Varanasi who were perform the grand aarti also didn’t turn up."
Calling it as the "victory of our struggles", NBA said, it decrees "this cruelty on his birthday, when 40,000 families are facing submergence in 192 villages and a town of Madhya Pradesh", adding, the ceremony is also a failure "since SSP remains incomplete, given that more than 50% of the canal networks is incomplete, so does the command area development, catchment area treatment and rehabilitation of the project affected families (PAFs) in three states."
"The failure can’t be hidden because BJP has been in power in Gujarat for close to two decades now. 41,000 KMs long canal network is to be completed for realising the full potential and Modi can’t blame it on the opposition", the statement said, adding, "The 56% electricity to Madhya Pradesh, even if it gets it, the question remains, does it need more electricity, and that too at the cost of destruction of 192 villages and 1 township?"
The statement reminds Modi of the history of the project when Jan Sangh challenged the dam when it was first proposed. In fact, it supported NBA in 1960s. "The claim that for 56 years the dam was stopped, we need to look at the history, since the foundation stone laid by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was not for the dam of today, it was for a much smaller dam of 162 feet height."
"The present dam, a result of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal (NWDT) award, is 455 feet i.e. 138.68 meters high, declared by the Tribunal after 10 years long enquiry into the serious conflict among 3 riparian states, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The dispute got settled only after the NWDT award, which till date hasn’t been fully complied with", it added.
"The dam, claimed to be the country’s highest dam or world’s second biggest dam, is only on the basis of the volume of concrete going into the Dam. It is one of the biggest, no doubt, and the decision on the same came in December 1979, the date of the Declaration of the Award, not in 1961 as claimed by Modi", the statement said.
"Even after the award the work work was conditional on clearance to it by the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, and completion of studies and plans on not less than eight critical aspects of the project, rehabilitation, flora and fauna, seismic risks, catchment area treatment, command area development, downstream impacts among others", it said.
"In the light of all these factual inaccuracies we can only say that, either they are ignorant or wilfully misleading the nation primarily for upcoming Gujarat elections", NBA said, adding, "Sardar Sarovar dam for us is a testimony to the resolve of the people of Narmada valley who have fought for more than three decades for justice, and also a monument of corruption, government’s apathy and complete disdain for the rule of law."
"Our struggle is also for the farmers of Gujarat, in whose name all the politics has been played over the years, since neither the canal networks has been completed nor the water is being given to the farmers or those on Kutch. The water is being diverted for Coca Cola and car factories and also for the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)", the statement said.

Comments

TRENDING

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.