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

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.