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

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Attack on Gaza: Western media 'went out of the way' to obscure, protect perpetrators

By Sonali Kolhatkar*  Israeli forces killed more than a hundred Palestinians and wounded more than 700 on February 29, 2024 during a distribution of food aid in Gaza city, pushing the Palestinian death toll to 30,000 since October 7, 2023. The food aid massacre was straightforward in its deadliness as armed Israeli forces aimed weapons at desperate, hungry Palestinian civilians and killed many of them. It was also plausible within the context of who has firepower and who doesn’t, and wholly consistent with Israeli atrocities, especially those committed since October 7, 2023.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Stressing on standardisation, efficiency, capitalists 'intensify' workers' exploitation

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The productivist ideology lies at the core of the profit-making pyramid of capitalism. It perpetuates a relentless cycle characterized by busy schedules, workplace tension, an imbalance in work-life equilibrium, and a pervasive sense of alienation. 

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.