Skip to main content

Narmada oustees: Apex court tells Madhya Pradesh to file R&R status by Sept 30

By Our Representative
Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari has directed the Madhya Pradesh government to file an affidavit on the status of the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) of Sardar Sarovar dam oustees by September 30. The bench fixed the next hearing for October 1. It said this following a plea by the state government counsel Kapil Sibbal for more time to file an affidavit on R&R status.
The bench was hearing a writ petition filed by oustees, supported by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), claiming that the dam was filled up to the full reservoir level (FRL), 138.68 metres, leading to the submergence of 176 villages, adversely impacting the life and livelihood of thousands of oustees, who had still not been rehabilitated as per the apex court order.
The direction followed senior counsel for the petitioner, Sanjay Parikh, pointing towards the gravity of submergence affecting human life and livelihood, and requested that, as R&R had not been completed, the rise in water levels was not in accordance with law, and therefore it should be brought down so that human sufferings were lessened.
Tushar Mehta, solicitor general, on the other hand, argued on behalf of the Government of India and the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) that water level in reservoir had been raised as per the procedure in the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) Award.
The bench also drew attention of the solicitor general to the provision in the NWDT Award regarding a Review Committee meeting, suggested in the interim order, and observed that a decision should be taken in the meanwhile. The Review Committee comprises of the chief ministers of the four beneficiary states of the NWDT Award – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan – as members, chaired by the Minister for Water Resources of the Union of India.
The hearing, which took place on September 26 on the writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, filed by the project affected families (PAFs) of Madhya Pradesh, who averred that the filling of the Sardar Sarovar reservoir was illegal and in violation of law, state policies and the judgements of the apex court.
The court heard arguments from the counsels of the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and NCA, who rejected the plea for reducing the water level in the dam to 122 metres by keeping its gates open. According to them, NCA and its various subgroups for R&R and environment had granted all the requisite permissions for filling of the reservoir to FRL in 2017 itself.
The state of Gujarat contended that the Supreme Court order of February 8, 2017 had directed all the PAFs to vacate the villages by July 31, 2017 and that this should have been complied with.
The writ petition, on the other hand, submitted that R&R of thousands of families residing in 76 villages remains pending, as indicated in the letter by the Madhya Pradesh chief secretary dated May 27, 2019. The letter stated that about 3,000 applications by claimants were also pending for land entitlement or Rs 60 lakh package, granted by the Supreme Court in its 2017 order.
It also said that a number of tasks related to R&R remained pending, especially civic amenities as per NWDT Award and state policy, such as drinking water, roads, drainage and others, were not in place.

Comments

TRENDING

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Church in India 'seems to have lost' moral compass of unequivocal support to the poor

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*
In 2017, Pope Francis dedicated a special day, to be observed by the Universal Church, every year, as the ‘World Day of the Poor’. This year it will be observed on November 17 on the theme ‘The hope of the poor shall not perish for ever’; in a message for the day Pope Francis says:

'Discussed' with Modi, Gujarat Rann Sarovar proposal for Kutch runs into rough weather

By Rajiv Shah
Top Saurashtra industrialist Jaysukhbhai Patel’s by now controversial proposal to convert the 4,900 sq km Little Rann of Kutch area, an eco-sensitive zone – a UNESCO biosphere, world’s only wild ass reserve, and a nesting ground of lesser flamingoes – into a huge sweet water lake, called Rann Sarovar, has suffered a major roadblock. At least three Central agencies have expressed serious doubts about its feasibility.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.