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

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

Why's Govt of India reluctant to consider battery storage system for renewal energy?

By Shankar Sharma*  If having so many small size battery energy storage system (BESS) at different locations of the grid, as in the report from Australia (a portfolio of 27 small battery storage projects across three Australian states that will total arounds 270 MWh), is considered to be techno-economically attractive in a commercially driven market such as Australia, the question that becomes a lot more relevance to Indian scenario is: why are our planners not in favour of installing such small size BESS at most of the distribution sub-stations not only to accelerate the addition of RE power capacities, but also to minimise the need for large size solar/ wind power parks, dedicated transmission lines and pumped storage plants; which will also minimise the associated technical losses.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

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. 

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

New MVA-INDIA MPs asked to raise Maharashtra milk farmers' demand

By Our Representative  All-India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) national president Dr Ashok Dhawale and AIKS Maharashtra general secretary Dr Ajit Nawale have asked three newly-elected MPs of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA-INDIA) from the milk belt of Maharashtra Dr Amol Kolhe (NCP),  Bhausaheb Wakchaure (SS), and Nilesh Lanke (NCP), to take up the cause of milk farmers of Maharashtra in Parliament.  After congratulating them on their resounding victory over their BJP-NDA rivals, the AIKS leaders apprised them of the milk farmers struggle which is intensifying in the state under the leadership of the AIKS and the Milk Farmers Joint Struggle Committee, and requested them to support it. All three MPs agreed not only to support, but also to take the initiative in this struggle, an official AIKS communique claimed. Farmers in Maharashtra are currently getting as low as Rs 24-27 per litre for cow milk, which is being sold in the market for Rs 56-60 per litre, the AIKS leaders noted. The low price to farmer

Report suggests Indian democracy 'hasn't achieved' equitable economic decentralization

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram  The news that the current economic inequality in the country is worse than during British rule is unsettling. This suggests the harsh reality that our democracy has not achieved equitable economic decentralization. A recent report by Thomas Piketty and three other economists reveals shocking findings: in 2023-24, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in India hold 40% of the nation's wealth, with a 22.6% share in income.