Skip to main content

Ensure natural flow of Narmada to salvage sea ingress in downstream river: People's Tribunal testimony

By Our Representative
A Peoples’ Court or Jan Adalat, held in Bhopal on culmination of week-long struggle, called Narmada Aur Kisaani Bachao Jung, has been told that efforts should be stepped up to ensure the natural flow of Narmada river is properly monitored and regulated at a time when several major and minor dams have been built on it and its tributaries. This, it was suggested, necessary to protect the river's ecosystem, which is facing severe strain.
Those who gave testimonies following a 220 km rally, which began next to the Narmada dam, converting into a 55 km foot march from Sihore to Bhopal, were adivasi, farmers, fish workers agricultural labourers and mill workers, many of whom who faced displacement.
Issues raised included the bleak situation along Narmada, allegedly resulting from destructive development projects, especially large dams, devouring prime forests and other resources; displacement without rehabilitation; downstream impact of the Sardar Sarovar dam, and so on.
Heralbhai, a fish worker, and Kamleshbhai, an advocate, who had come from the downstream region of the Sardar Sarovar dam, said a serious issue of sea ingress demanded no new barrage, currently under implementation at Bhadbhut on the mouth of Narmada river. It would adversely affect the estuary and the coastal regulatory zone CRZ, affecting downstream fisheries and the river's ecology, they said.
They demanded that the Sardar Sarovar dam's gates should be opened up and there should a release of 6000 cusecs of water. Pointing out that a several decades old report by international expert Wallingford had recommended only 600 cusecs as the adequate flow for the downstream, they said, when the population has increased manifold and water requirement of industry and agriculture has gone up drastically, there is a need to review this.
Giving testimony, fish workers of Sardar Sarovar, Indira Sagar and Bargi reservoirs asserted their fishing rights, while the Sardar Sarovar-affected tribals and farmers talked of the devastation faced by them because of the dams.
Kailash Avasya spoke about injustice done to hilly adivasis who are still not rehabilitated, while Ranvir Tomar, Suresh Pradhan, Kamla Yadav, Shyama Behen and Madubhai pointed towards rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) issues in the plains of Nimad. Wahid Mansuri raised questions about the clearance given by the Narendra Modi government to the Sardar Sarovar dam, demanding he dam's gates be opened till rehabilitation is concluded.
Rajkumar Sinha said new proposals for 13 power plants on Narmada river need to be rejected, as there is no further requirement of power for Madhya Pradesh. The proposals have been made to help private corporate power generators, he said,, while Meera Bai and Dadulal Kudape insisted that the proposal to have nuclear power plant at Chutka should be rejected because of its environmental issues.
VM Singh, a farmer leader, demanded that two laws need to be passed urgently -- one on freedom from debt and another on appropriate prices for agricultural products. These bill, he said, are already before Parliament, demanding a separate session for this.
Among those who heard the testimonies, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar said forcible acquisition of land was taking place by undermining the 2013 land law, while former Justice of Supreme Court, Gopala Gowda acknowledged the seriousness of the situation along Narmada, wondering, “In a democracy, where majority rules, when 74% of the poor rural population belongs to the farming sector, how can we be ruled by the corporate sector?”

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.