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Medha Patkar

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12 April, 2014: News updates from India

12 April, 2014

1. Political Parties Deploy ‘Spies’ in Rival Camps: Contestants for the ongoing election in India are leaving no stone un-turned to ensure that their winning chances are more than their opponents and are not hesitating to spy on the movements of the latter. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/Political-Parties-Deploy-%E2%80%98Spies%E2%80%99-in-Rival-Camps/2014/04/12/article2164202.ece#.U0jpWlWSyo4

2. Anna Hazare Announces Support to Patkar, Two NDA Nominees: The septuagenarian social activist Anna Hazare has extended support to Medha Patkar contesting from North-East seat of Mumbai on an Aam Admi Party ticket. Besides Patkar, Hazare has also extended his support to, Raju Shetty and Sadabhau Khot, leaders of Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatna (SSS), one of the constituents of BJP-led “Mahayuti” (grand alliance). http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=836831

 

3. Muslim women protest against Abu Asim Azmi remark: A large number of Muslim women on Friday protested outside the state women’s commission office in Bandra against the comments made by Samajwadi Party (SP) state unit chief Abu Asim Azmi. The women expressed their ire at the remarks of Azmi and his party’s national chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-muslim-women-protest-against-abu-asim-azmi-remark-1977492

4. Elderly couple go on hunger strike after officials goof on voters’ list: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/elderly-couple-go-on-hunger-strike-after-officials-goof-on-voters-list/article5904364.ece

5. Irom Sharmila denied request to vote: Manipur rights crusader Irom Sharmila, who expressed her wish to vote, has been denied the right. “If I am allowed, I would like to cast my vote,” Sharmila said while coming to an Imphal court for routine appearance today. However, chief electoral officer O. Nabakishore Singh said she could not do so. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140412/jsp/northeast/story_18181832.jsp#.U0jpl1WSyo4

6. Punjabi men go on hunger strike in U.S. detention facility: http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/punjabi-men-go-on-hunger-strike-in-us-detention-facility/article5902282.ece

7. IMF, World Bank push for price on carbon: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/imf-world-bank-push-for-price-on-carbon-20140412-36jda.html

8. India, Russia sign agreement on Kudankulam 3, 4 units: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/india-russia-sign-agreement-on-kudankulam-3-4-units/article5901831.ece

9. Kudankulam n-plant commercial operation delayed again: http://www.news.nom.co/kudankulam-n-plant-commercial-8936475-news/

10. Daily Briefing | Green energy spending to combat climate change: http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/04/daily-climate-and-energy-links-11th-april-2014/

 

Land Acquisition in India: News Updates: 21 November, 2013

1. Land Acquisition Act has ‘loopholes’, says activist Medha Patkar: Medha Patkar today claimed there are “loopholes” in the Land Acquisition Act and political parties should listen to the voice of the “struggling people” if they want to resolve the conflicts over the issue of land. http://www.firstpost.com/india/land-acquisition-act-has-loopholes-says-activist-medha-patkar-1240725.html

2. Human rights defender Ms Agnes Kharshiing released; struggle for land rights of indigenous people continues: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAU-032-2013

3. Privileging landowners over farm workers: http://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/privileging-landowners-over-farm-workers/article5364822.ece?homepage=true

4. Villagers at NHAI door to give land. - 153 families near Jalpaiguri offer land for NH31D four-laning: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1131119/jsp/siliguri/story_17585632.jsp#.Uo2i_NKBn_k

5. Farmers oppose Pune‘s new airport plan; Ajit Pawar says land acquisition only with consent: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/farmers-oppose-pune-s-new-airport-plan–ajit-pawar-says-land-acquisition-only-with-consent/1196792/

6. Zero wait policy for airport land: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/navi-mumbai/Zero-wait-policy-for-airport-land/articleshow/26115130.cms

Three days long Satyagraha in Narmada valley comes to an end

Three days long Satyagraha in Narmada valley comes to an end

Ten hours long dialogue leads to decion on land based rehabilitation Even as MP government in collusion with UPA dilutes rights of those affected in Irrigation Projects in Land Bill

Sardar Sarovar affected burn Disaster Management Plan

New Delhi, September 4 : Rajya Sabha voted the Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, and accepted three regressive amendments suggested by Madhya Pradesh government and accepted by UPA government. These amendments will take away the rights of the rights of the dam and canal affected people, even then hope is not lost on the struggling adivasis and farmers of the Narmada valley. We have fought for nearly three decades for our rights and we will continue to lead the struggle for justice and protect rights as enshrined in the Indian Constitution.

Since, September 2nd, 1200 adivasis laid seize to the office of the District Collector, Nandurbar, Maharashtra, facing Police atrocity and stayed put in protest of the illegal and unjust submergence due to Sardar Sarovar Project.

Over last 2 days various issues were raised by the Andolan and discussed with the District Collector. These issues include impact of submergence, land-based rehabilitation, forest rights including common property rights, and also displacement due to 7 medium projects, diversion of river water to the non adivasis families which has been opposed by Gram Sabhas in every tributary valley.

On September 3, at 11pm, the Collector brought a letter to the hundreds of people on the sit-in and addressed the meeting assuring action on the issues, which were discussed with the Andolan. Summary of the agreement between the authorities and the Andolan are :

  • The Satyagrahis have exposed the falsehood in the number of balance families yet to be rehabilitated. While Narmada Control Authority (NCA) report showed balance to be zero. The figure, prima-facie, calculated shows it to be above 1500 in Maharashtra.
  • The details of land in Maharashtra and Gujarat for rehabilitation to be finalised and those will to be shared to the representatives of the oustees within next 7 to 10 days.
  • Various amenities – health, jetty, solar lamps – are to be provided to the villages on the Narmada Bank and rehabilitation sites, as per detailed decision taken.
  • Enquiry into corruption discovered in NREGA, 2 Crores in 8 villages and few crores in 3 other villages where social audit was conducted years back will lead to concrete action planned.
  • 73 forest villages will become revenue and the process is expected to be completed by October 1st week. NBA has finished all documents, explaining the legal and illegal process on this, during last one a half decade.
  • The Medium projects, where 20 Crores, as opposed to, planned 6 crores is to be spent on survey and plans itself, are challenged by the Andolan. Those dams on the tributaries of Narmada, and as agreed by the Collector, can’t proceed unless the due democratic, consultative process is carried out, at the Gram Sabhas level.
  • Jeevanshalas will be provided grains at concessional BPL rates; beginning from October 2nd, as per a GR of Government of Maharashtra.

These and other decisions are a major step ahead. However, the Andolan has warned the District and State administration through them that in the situation of no implementation of any major decision especially ‘’No sanction by Maharashtra to raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar “and full & fair land based rehabilitation of all the dam oustees adivasis, there will be an intensified ‘Jamin Hakk Satyagrah very soon.

Noorji Padni, Vijay Valvi, Yogini Khanolkar, Chetan Salve, Latika, Saisingh Pavra, Panaki Vasave, Medha Patkar

 

Peaceful protest by 1200 adivasis: Police excesses condemnable

Sardar Sarovar Rehabilitation in Maharashtra: Adivasi Rights

Peaceful protest by 1200 adivasis: Police excesses condemnable

 10 hrs dialogue with Collector, CEO and officials continues on 2nd day

Ensure Rehab before submergence: Else Review Project; Empty Reservoir Waters

Oustees challenge paper ‘disaster management’: Fraud in NREGS, PDS exposed

 3rd September, 2013: More than 1,200 adivasis from the 33 hilly adivasi villages on the Narmada river bank, affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) and 73 forest villages in the Satpuda ranges of Nandurbar District of Maharashtra, marched into the Collector’s office yesterday and demanded a conclusive answer to various serious issues such as compensation for illegal submergence caused due to the release of waters from the upstream dams in the SSP reservoir, land-based rehabilitation  of more than 1,500 adivasi families in the 33 villages, rights of adivasis in the 73 forest villages, inquiry into and action against corruption in NREGA, PDS; ensure community forest rights, review of small and medium dams on tributaries of Narmada, lack of civic amenities at the resettlement sites, role and rights of Gram Sabhas, food grains at BPL prices for the children of Jeevanshalas etc.

As the andolankaris, a large majority of them adivasi women from various villages in the Shahada, Akkalkuwa, Taloda and Dhadgaon tehsils, walked into the gates of the Collector’s’ office at Nandurbar, an all-male armed police force stopped and severely assaulted many of oustees, who were pushed to the ground, but stood up and faced the police force with peaceful resistance.  We strongly condemn the action of the police in dealing with the poor adivasi oustees, at the instance of the officials and demand legal action. Ultimately the officials had to concede and the police had to withdraw. The protest continued with spirited songs, slogannering and demands for justice, compensation, rehabilitation, action against corruption and all civic rights. Later in the evening, a large delegation of 40 adivasis, representing various villages, along with Medha Patkar and other activists held a 6 hours long dialogue with a battery of district officials including Mr. Om Prakash Bakoria  District Collector, Chief Executive Officer, District Panchayat, Nandurbar Addl. Collector (SSP), Regional Officer, Resident Addl. Collector, Addl. Collector (Revenue) etc.

The Satyagraha continued within the Collectorate on the 2nd day as well, since the oustees wanted concrete decisions and written commitments. Senior activists and supporters visited the dharna site and extended their solidarity to the peaceful and valiant struggle of the adivasis in the Narmada valley, which is to shortly complete three full decades. Detailed discussions continued from 11 a.m. upto 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Some of the main issues and demands put forth were:

  1. Finalize the exact number of oustees living in the 33 original villages, whose land-rehabilitation is pending.
  2. Sardar Sarovar should not be pushed ahead at any cost, until complete cultivable, irrigable and suitable land-based rehabilitation of all the oustees, with house plots, all civic amenities at the resettlement sites as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award (NWDTA) and Judgements of the Supreme Court is guaranteed.
  3. Immediate Panchanamas and payment of compensation for all the crop and house losses due to illegal submergence.
  4. District administration must concretely take ahead the process of recognizing community forest rights and convert all the 73 forest villages into revenue villages by the end of September, 2013, in compliance with the directive of the Secretary, State Forest Department to the District Collector.
  5. Prompt inquiry into corruption and irregularities in NREGA, PDS and other schemes and strict legal action against the responsible officials / persons. More than 2 crores corruption in 8 villages of Dhadgaon has been unearthed, with wages paid to deceased and non-existent persons etc !
  6. Halt to and review of the series of medium dams on the tributaries of Narmada and provide all documents, project proposal, maps, clearances, in the local languages to the Gram Sabhas and decide on the local water use and management with consent of the Gram Sabha.

The oustees challenged the massive and absolutely illegal submergence in August, 2013, leading to destruction of hundreds of hectares of agricultural land, as also some houses such as the entire hamlet in Bamni with 8 houses affected by the reservoir waters, similarly 2 houses each in Chimalkhedi and Dhankedi affected. It may be noted that the hilly adivasi villages have been facing the impacts of illegal submergence since 1994 and this year, even the plain areas in the Nimad region of M.P. were severely hit by the dam waters, leading to destruction of thousands of hecatres of land and more than a 1,000 houses of adivasis-farmers, fish workers, landless, potters, small shopkeepers etc. in the Badwani, Dhar and Alirapur districts of Madhya Pradesh. The oustees also questioned the election politics of the Modi Government and stated that even after sacrificing, 9,600 hectares of land (6,500 hectares forest land and 1,500 ha agricultural land), Maharashtra has not been getting its due share of electricity, nor are its oustees fully rehabilitated, so the issue of pushing ahead the 70,000 crore giant Sardar Sarovar Project is certainly illegal.

 In addition to the above issues the oustees also confronted the officials on the absolute lack of disaster preparedness or contingency plan during the dam-induced flooding, non-availability of health services and staff, despite the barges, inadequate boats etc. Other issues raised were; right to food, forest rights, right to fisheries, right to safe drinking water etc. in various villages of Akkalkuwa and Akrani Tehsils. A specific demand to recognize community forest rights especially of water sources, tree cover, forest produce, fisheries etc. was made.  The Andolan continues to lay emphasis on community forest rights, beyond the individual claims, since responsibilities with rights of the communities to save forests not just for the present, but future generations is also absolutely essential. Illegal transportation of liquor in Dhadgaon and legal action against the same, as also against the Dhadgaon police Inspector was also called for.

No to 7 medium- dams on the tributaries of Narmada: The protestors, especially from villages Son, Jalola, Bhanoli, Kothar, Chandsaili, Kundal in the scheduled adivasi areas severely objected to the controversial Narmada-Tapi River link; a series of medium dams on the tributaries of Narmada, pushed by political vested interests; only to divert the river waters to the upcoming cities like Shahada and Taloda, at the expense of ecology of the Satpuda region, leading to displacement of more adivasis. The Chief Engineer Mr. Khairnar was pulled up by the oustees on the issues of environmental impacts, extent of submergence, R&R benefits etc. It was also warned that the administration will have to encounter a severe public agitation if the illegal river-linking project is pushed ahead.

MAJOR WRITTEN DECISIONS BY THE COLLECTOR ON DAY 2 OF SATYAGRAHA:

1. In-principle agreement that the rehabilitation of 1,500 adivasi families is pending. A hearing of all the undeclared oustees would be held shortly to take ahead the process of their declaration, inclusion in official lists and grant of R&R entitlements accordingly.

2. It was also decided to conduct an early social audit of the quality and availability of civic amenities provided at the R&R sites and original villages by the Narmada Development Division.

3. Collector agreed to show the lands for rehabilitation to the oustees from 7th September and a continued effort to identify land for R&R.

4. Food grains for Jeevanshalas (life-schools) to be provided at BPL rates. 

5. Immediate inquiry into and action against corruption in NREGS, PDS and health services

6. All Panchanamas for crop losses to be recorded and compensation to be paid.

The oustees are determined to continue the Satyagraha even on the 3rd day, until all the major demands, listed above are met and clear decision not to permit raise in the height of the SSP is announced, until full compliance on R&R is ensured.

 Punya Vasave               Manglya Pawra            Siyaram Padvi Vijay Valvi           Noorji Padvi

  Yogini Khanolkar             Latika Rajput              Meera                         Pinjaribai

Contact: 09423944390 / 09423908123  /09179148973

National Alliance of People’s Movements
6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

 

PRESS INVITATION: Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Bill, 2011

PRESS INVITATION

Dear Friends,

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Bill, 2011 is scheduled to be introduced in Lok Sabha tomorrow. The Bill is to replace the colonial Land Acquisition Act, 1894 responsible for large scale forcible acquisition of the land from farmers, displacing and depriving millions and leaving them without any credible resettlement and rehabilitation.

Many of us have been engaged with the process of making of the new Bill for many years now. The new Bill however, is far from what it should be, we believe. It is in this context that we call you for a press briefing tomorrow, August 13th, 4:00 – 5:00 pm at Indian Women‘s Press Club, Windsor Place, New Delhi.

The Conference will be addressed by :

Roma, All India Union of Forest Working People
Yudhvir Singh, Bhartiya Kisan Union
Rupesh Verma, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti
Medha Patkar, National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM)

We look forward to having you there with us.

Warm Regards,

Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM 9818905316 Sanjeev Kumar, Delhi Solidarity Group 9958797409
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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : http://www.napm-india.org
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia

 

Farmers Reclaim Land illegally allotted to SEZ

Vanpic-Oustees-Take

Farmers Reclaim their Land illegally allotted to Ajanta SEZ in Aurangabad

NAPM Condemns Police Firing on Protesters Opposing NTPC Coal Mines in Karanpura, Jharkhand Killing Two and Injuring Others

New Delhi / Aurangabad, July 23 : Villagers of Shendra today reclaimed the land which was illegally transferred by Maharashtra Industrial Corporation to Ajanta Co to set up Pharma SEZ in MIDC Five Star Indusrtail Area, Shendra, Aurangabad. The action was supported and joined by noted social activist, Medha Patkar, Adviser and Founding Member NAPM, Balwant More, Rashtra Sewa Dal, Nanded, Maj Subedar Bam, Subhash Lomte of Socialist Front and others. Nearly 300 farmers from nearby villages also gathered with bullocks and tractors and tilled the land which was under illegal occupation of the company since 2008. Police, which never filed an FIR against the company after repeated complaints, came today defending the right of the Company, showing its anti people character.

In 2007-8, 35 Hectares of prime agricultural land, percolation tanks, village roads etc. was handed by the Dsitrict Administration to the Ajanta Projects India Limited without completing any land acquistion process under MIDC Act as mandated. False notices were issued, compensation paid receipts were given and land was said to be taken under possession by the Land Acquistion Officer. Based on the land allotted to them by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation the Company obtained approval for Pharmaceutical and related Chemical Special Economic Zone from Union government. Till date no work has started on the project but Company continues to illegally occupy the land after erecting fences on the land of the farmers and tank.

Farmers were illegally evicted from their land in collaboration with the district Sub Divisional Officer, Police officials and others. Later, under the Right to Information Act, they got information from various agencies, which supported their claim to land. Tahsildar on duty on 27 November 2009 said that 35 Hectares of land in question was not acquired by the authorities, confirmed also by the Executive Engineer Minor Irrigation in a reply dated October 29, 2009. Farmers filed complaint to the police with copies to senior district officials, Industry Ministers and Union Commerce Ministry. However, till date no action was taken.

In meantime false cases were filed against some of the villagers in order to terrify them and pacify their resistance. Recently, on a petition filed by Bhanudas Gopinath of the village Shendra resulted in injunction from Aurangabad bench of High Court. This emboldened the morale of the 50 families whose land was illegally transferred.

We are only exercising our right and not committing any crime. None of the government records show that right procedure was followed under MIDC Act, 1961 to acquire land in this case, on the contrary records show the ownership with Bhanudas and other farmers of the village Shendra. It is completely right for the tillers of the land to reclaim it and start farming. We demand that the responsible revenue and police officers be prosecuted immediately for forgery and misrepresentation of facts in the case; revocation of the status of SEZ granted to Ajanta co.; de-notify the land and recognise the right of the farmers over the total land, since company has failed to initiate any work till date,” said Medha Patkar.

She further added that it is high time that a Special Investigation team be constituted to look in to the fraudulent land dealings which has been ongoing around Aurangabad town where farmers are being cheated. Land mafia till date has transacted nearly 30-40% of the 2,34,000 Hectares of land to be acquired for Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Greater Aurangabad and Aurangabad Metropolitan City project. No notification has been issued by the authorities but illegal and fraudulent transactions are being enacted and a speculative land market is today flourishing around the city. Media reports are often being planted fuelling stress selling by the farmers at times but no clear information is being given on the DMIC and other projects coming to the farmers. In coming days NAPM will continue to expose such land dealings, support the people’s resistance and assist in building of the movement against the DMIC and other projects in Aurangabad.

NAPM also condemns the killing of two activists of  Karnpura  Bachao Sangharsh Samiti in a police firing today morning at Chatti Bariahattu Karanpura Jharkhand. They have been leading a valiant fight against the land acquisition for NTPC coal mines. In 2005, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) acquired mining lease for captive mining in an area covering 16 villages of 3 blocks- Pankiri Barwadi, Chatti Bariyatu and Keredari in  Hazaribagh District of Jharkhand. Today the total number of villages to be displaced has risen to 60, with the total affected population being close to 40,000 as opposed to 16,000 which is the claim made by the company. From 2005 till date mining has not begun and any attempt of starting work has been thwarted by the Gram Sabha resolutions and also active resistance from the people, who are to loose prime agricultural land in Karanpura Valley. It seems Hemant Soren, newly sowrn in Chief Minister is determined to push Corporate Agenda, but people’s resistance will continue to fight to defend their land, water and forests which are necessary for survival of the nation and people.

Vilas Bhongade, Suniti S R, Dr. Sunilam, Prafulla Samantara, Suhas Kolhekar, Gabriele Dietrich, Sister Celia, Major General (Retd.) Sudhir Vombatkere, Arundhati Dhuru, C R Neelakandan, Geo Jose, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Kamayani Swami, Mahendra Yadav, Rajendra Ravi, Vimal Bhai, Seela M, Madhuresh Kumar

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

Thousands of displaced storm Narmada Control Authority Office

IMG_0356 (2) IMG_0295 (2) IMG_0304 (2) IMG_0321 (2) IMG_0333 (2)

 

Press Release

3rd July, 2013
More than 1,200 displaced storm NCA Head Office

Challenge illegal decision to raise Sardar Sarovar dam height

Expose false claims of rehabilitation and environmental compliance

More than 1,200 women and men from the Narmada valley stormed and occupied the head office of the Narmada Control Authority, Narmada Bhavan at Vijay Nagar, Indore yesterday on 2nd July. The loud and strong protest by farmers, labourers, fish workers, potters, small shopkeepers, adivasis and dalits was against the decision to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam from the 122 mts (present) to the 138.68 mts (final height) that was learnt to have been taken on 27th June at New Delhi. It was at the end of the protest that the agitators learnt from authentic sources that as a result of the voice raised by the people and their supporters, the meeting of NCA to finalize raise in dam height was postponed.

The decision by the Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Sub Group (NCA) chaired by the Secretary, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was despite the fact that it was earlier very critical that not less than 40,000 families in the submergence area and to be affected even at the present dam height are not rehabilitated with entitlements of land for the farmers, alternative livelihood for the landless, house plots and amenities at the resettlement sites. While since 1994, adivasi villages and since 2000 even densely populated villages in the plains are being affected, the largest number of villages affected, are in M.P. (193).

The decision was made on the basis of false claims and reports by both Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and even Gujarat, what were taken as the basis for pushing the dam, under political pressures from the Narendra Modi Government. The people with large strength of women, beyond caste and class were obviously upset that the decision is to be finalized in the full NCA meeting in utter violation of the Narmada Tribunal Award (1979), environmental conditions in the clearance, 4 judgments of the Supreme Court, (1991, 2000, 2002 and 2005) and the state level rehabilitation policies.

Previously, the height of the SSP was raised from 110 mts to 122 mts in a similar manner in 2006 which led to 21 days fast by Medha Patkar, Bhagwati behan and Jamsing bhai at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. Since then, the permission was not granted, as every time it was proved that thousands of families remain to be rehabilitated. In M.P, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry was appointed by the State High Court, when massive corruption was unearthed by the farmers themselves, along with NBA, in the rehabilitation process. The state government itself had to admit 686 land purchase registries as fake, while the actual figure could be 3,000 or even more. Inquiry by the Commission is on since the last 5 years in every aspect of rehabilitation including house plot allotment, quality of civic amenities, fraud in the lists of PAFs, betrayal of landless etc. The report is due any time after October and a pre-mature political decision on the dam would be a huge fraud on the people and the Courts.

The Govt. of Maharashtra was always taking a stand that rehabilitation o hundreds of adivasis in the state must be completed prior to dam construction and submergence. Yet, its new Secretary, Rehabilitation, seems to have misreported the position in the state. It is in this context that the people at NCA yesterday, raised every issue in rehabilitation, environment, cumulative impacts of all dams vis-à-vis regulation in the valley and the costs-benefits of SSP. Shyama behan, a fisher woman compared the fish catch before and after pondage and questioned, whether the officials including Mr. Pawan Kumar, Director Environment, NCA knows anything about fisheries ! “We will not allow commercial contracts to be granted to outside investor in SSP reservoir, as we have invested our sweat and blood, over generations”, she said.

Pemabhai, an adivasi from the plains of Nimad warned the officials that NCA cannot accept the reports from NVDA, M.P. State agency or Maharashtra, unless a thorough scrutiny of the same is made. Maglia bhai from Village Bhadal, Maharashtra narrated the story of one adivasi Leharya Ganya, who attempted suicide on the 30th of June, as even after 4 years, since shifting, he was not given possession by the owner of land, whom the government had not paid full price. Pemalbai Koli of Village Dhanora represented the landless women, many of who are excluded from the list of eligible PAFs and left deprived of house plots and alternative livelihoods which is their right. Kailash Awasya, Bhagairath Dhangar, Adv. Yogni, Chetan Salve, Medha Patkar and Meera exposed the false claims on paper and distortions in the decision making process.

Many youth and the aged from the Pahad and Nimad questioned the officisls Mr. Pawan Kumar, Director, NCA and the Dy. Director, Mr. Asif, rehabilitation, who were made to reply and promised that they would certainly look into every issue immediately. The people, occupying the NCA premises, warned the NCA that if any decision is taken to submerge such a vast area and drown the people illegally, merely under the pressures and political expediency exhibited by Gujarat, it will not be tolerated. People and activists with supporters from Indore asserted that:

 R&R Sub Group must withdraw its illegal decision, if already taken, and NCA should not finalize the same, admitting that more than 40,000 families are residing in the submergence area and most of those, affected at the present height are also not rehabilitated.

 NCA must not submit to pressures from the states, but play a major and independent role in strictly monitoring and ensuring compliance with law, policies and judgements on rehabilitation and environment, through frequent field visits and investigation.

 Land should be identified for eligible farmers, including adivasis, to rehabilitated them, as per the Narmada Tribunal and Supreme Court Judgements and cash disbursement, as special package, must be stopped, for ever. Maharashtra should not offer cash package to the hilly adivasis in lieu of land.

 Right to fisheries should be granted to the fish wotrkers, alternative livelihood to other landless, as per the NVDA’s Action Plan, 1993, recognized by the Apex Court.

 All major sons should be rehabilitated, with land, as per the Tribunal Award and Judgement of the Supreme Court, 2005.

 No further construction at the dam, including pillars and bridges, should be permitted at this stage, which too would increase submergence by 1.5 mts, as it would be committing contempt of Court and people, both.

 NCA must ensure that all those who have faced losses (crop), labourers (houses), fish workers (fish, nets and boats) and shopkeepers (shops and material), potters etc. are compensated.

The mass action ended at 7:00 p.m. with people warning that if their houses and farms get submerged due to Sardar Sarovar or water releases from upstream dams, as happened last August, they would be compelled to take shelter in the same Narmada Bhavan. They also insisted that NCA must monitor compliance, fully and fairly, without relying on false statistics coming from the state; or else the people would be compelled to lock up the premises. When the Uttarakhand calamity has already taught a lesson, we cannot allow the Narmada valley to face the same, people from the most beautiful and ancient valley warned the officials.

Surbhan Bhilala Devram Kanera Kamla Yadav Kailash Awasya

Ghokru Ranveer Tomar Shannobehan Madu Machuara Medha Patkar

Phone: 09179148973 / 09423965153

People’s Commission Report on Special Rehabilitation Scheme Released

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
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Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014 Ph. No-2415 0529 E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com

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People’s Commission Report on Special Rehabilitation Scheme Released

SRA Projects full of Illegalities and Irregularities, Demands Cancellation of Fraudulent Projects and Demands implementation of RAY

Mumbai, June 24th : People’s Commission Report on Slum Rehabilitation Scheme in Mumbai was released today by Justice (retd.) B N Deshmukh, High Court, Aurangabad. The Commission was appointed by NAPM in order that a thorough enquiry could take place in to the irregularities and illegalities complained by hundreds and thousands of the slum dwellers included in the Scheme. The Commission was also appointed since the government of Maharashtra went back on its promise to appoint a joint enquiry committee to look in to 15 SRA projects, with Justice Suresh as Chairperson. This promise was given during the nine day fast by Medha Patkar and others while the official notifications were modified giving false reasons of Court’s directive and the enquiry was transferred to High Power Committee. Having no faith in the HPC, the people’s movements, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and others decided to continue the struggle, and forcing the State government to finally appoint a Committee under the Principal Secretary, Housing to undertake the enquiry into Six SRA projects in January 2013.

In this context NAPM decided to go in for a parallel enquiry from the eminent experts panel as an initiative from the civil society, under the chairmanship of Justice H Suresh. Other members included Smt Amita Bhide, Prof. TISS, urban habitat policy expert & member of the High Power Expert Group appointed by High Court, Mumbai in 2005; Sh. Chandrashekhar, architect and member of High-rise Buildings Committee, Govt of Maharashtra; Shri S Suradkar, former Inspector General of Police and Simpreet Singh, senior social activist. The panel went through a long process of investigation for months, conducted public hearings, visited the SRA areas and communities, invited and heard developers who appeared before the Commission and referred to the submissions made by the residents, their groups and organisations as well as the developers. The Commission also referred to secondary data and information available in various policy documents and reports. The Commission benefitted from the long experience and research of the panel members as senior policy interveners.

The Report has brought out a number of frauds and illegalities infesting the SRA projects and the serious flaws in to the SR Scheme itself. It indicates how the developers – politicians – bureaucrats together have favoured the builders more often than the residents and permitted violations of laws, rules and the scheme itself. The Scheme’s objective of the rehabilitation is often marred since displacement of hundreds of families without rehabilitation has also been a result of wrong application and corruption in the eligibility criteria and list of beneficiaries evolved thereby. With no registered agreements in the hands of the residents, the Commission has reported a number of cases where they are cheated or kept hanging in the non livable transit camps or the rented houses without the rent being paid regularly. The report brings out the stories of oppression and repression by the residents of decades old communities who are driven out using intimidation and luring tactics, ultimately to dump them, violating their rights. False cases filed against the residents, unrequired questioning of residents by police are used as harassment tactics. The Report exposes the role of the police in favouring the developers, many a times not admitting the FIRs and compelling the residents to run from dawn to dusk and reach the Courts at enormous costs.

An important highlight of the Report is regarding the transfer of the land to the builders which the scheme legitimizes, going against the expected principle and goal of equitable land use in the megalopolis of Mumbai where 60% of population being slumdwellers, resides on not more than 9.24 percent of Mumbai’s land. The allotment of land out of the communities land to the investor builder has attracted the politicians and others to also come forward and become partners in SRA schemes. This, as Report brings out, has resulted in complacency and favouritisim within the sanctioning and monitoring authorities such as SRA and Revenue department with the builders and have left the residents with little or no channel for redressal of their grievances. The Commission has concluded, going beyond the CAG report which shows that instead of 8 lakh houses only 1.5 lakh houses have been constructed under SRS since 1996 till 2011, that the Scheme is more or less a failure in terms of strengthening the Cooperatives of slum dwellers and rehabilitating them at a better standard of living.

The Report goes into the details of 6 SRA projects including Shiv Koliwada, Ramnagar (Ghatkopar), Ambedkar Nagar (Mulund), Indira Nagar (Jogeshwari), Chandivili (Mahendra and Sommaiyya quarries) and Golibar (Khar). These are the very projects which are also being enquired by Principal Secretary Housing Govt of Maharashtra, whose report is also expected soon. The People’s Commission is releasing the Report for the vibrant Civil Society and will submit the same to the Govt of Maharashtra this evening. Expecting serious consideration and prompt action on the recommendations, the Commission would await the official report from the Ministry of Housing and ponder over it, planning its future strategy to bring in the pro people democratic and just housing scheme that would result in equitable distribution of land and protection of people’s right to shelter as part of right to life, under article 21 of the Constitution.

The report’s recommendations includes urgent review of the 6 SRA projects under scanner as also the overall SR Scheme itself. Where the projects are not consented to by the communities those should be cancelled and amalgamation to big chunks of land diverted to the builders under 3k clause of the slum act 1971 or otherwise under some pretext should be withdrawn. The Commission instead suggests that with the people’s consent and readiness the community should be permitted and promoted to build their own housing schemes in truly cooperative way using their own labour force and artisans as also retaining land underneath the slums with their own rights.

The recommendations include alternative housing schemes on the basis of Public Public Partnership that would include Rajeev Awas Yojana, with due participation and vision coming from the people, and people’s organsiations.

Medha Patkar Sumita Wajale Madhuresh Kumar

 

NAPM Extends Solidarity to protestors of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor

NAPM Extends Solidarity to the Indefinite Dharna in Raigad District against forced land acquisition for DMIC Project

[See below press Release from Jagatikikaran Vriodhi Kruti Samiti and photos]

New Delhi / Mumbai, April 17 : Supporting the indefinite dharna of the farmers and workers of Raigad district National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has written to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra asking him to stop the forceful land acquisition for the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Since, April 10th, in Mangaon under the aegis of Sarvahara Jan Andolan – Jagatikikaran Vriodhi Kruti Samiti, farmers and labourers from 69 villages have been sitting on an indefinite dharna with one village coming together each day infront of SDO office. They are protesting since, 9715 families of 69 villages in Maangaon, Roha and Tala Talukas have received notifications for acquisition of a total of 24,207 acres of land for Dighi Industrial Area part of DMIC corridor. In fact total of 67,500 acres from 78 villages of these three talukas are to be acquired. MIDC has already acquired 2000 hectares of land since 1985 at the rate of 20/25,000 Rs per acre, of which land has been given to Jindal, POSCO and others. There is no record of percentage land utilised and unutilised with MIDC, even though in the past fifty years it has acquired more than 13 lakh acres of land. The provisions of MIDC Act is more draconian than Land Acquisition Act, 1894, which leaves little scope for the consent of the affected population.

The current notifications issued to farmers are illegal since the issuing authority SDO does not have the power to issue notifications of land above the price of Rs. 50, 000. However, the current rate as per MIDC’s own notification is Rs. 40 lakhs per acre. Farmers who are protesting this, you may recall, had forced the state government to cancel the Raigad SEZ that was being developed by the Reliance earlier but the land in the same region is now under threat of acquisition once again.

In second – third week of March this year NAPM undertook a yatra along the route of DMIC Corridor starting from Mumbai on Women’s Day and culminating in Delhi on March 18th in a 20,000 strong farmers and workers Mahapanchyat saying no to forced land acquisition and need to address crisis in Indian agriculture. We wonder what is the tearing hurry when a new Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill is near finalisation in the Parliament.

In Aurangabad, under DMIC and associated state government projects, if things go as planned, 234000 hectares land of 362 villages will be acquired in the name of development in a region which is witnessing the worst draught in many years. Most of the ground water and surface water sources, livelihood dependent on agriculture are already under extreme stress. With the plans for the land acquisition for various projects, there will be a disaster in the whole region for the those leaving on the margins, forcing large scale migrations and impoverishment.

In many of the places where DMIC is supposed to come up, neither the people nor the democratically elected representatives are aware of this monstrosity or their consent has been sought. We believe that hard – earned freedom and democratic rights of the people, as enshrined in the Constitution of India are at stake here. Indian Constitution has provided for the state’s mandate to involve and promote role of all citizens in the planning under number of articles, esp. 243-244. However, the DMIC authorities have violated all of these provisions, since the deal and plans have been finalized by the Union and State government and that too by some bureaucrats without consulting the democratically elected bodies.

Forcible acquisition of land in the name of industrial and city development will only lead to development of real estate and land grab, bringing not prosperity, but impoverishment to the existing population. The past experience tells us that claims of employment generation and absorbing the affected remain largely on paper. Transforming the economic pursuits cannot happen overnight, involuntarily. That this plan with huge impacts on the targeted corridor region, esp. the Investment Region and Industrial Areas cannot and should not be finalised without a full-fledged public debate within the directly affected areas at the state level.

NAPM demands that the Government of Maharashtra reviews the whole plan and initiate a public dialogue on the DMIC plan and projects therein. We demand that the state government should pro-actively provide all information about the total plan and projects to the citizens including the affected, and no forced acquisition of land be attempted at any cost.

Farmers of Raigad had earlier forced the cancellation of SEZ and once again they will challenge at any cost the forcible land acquisition. NAPM supports their struggle and stands in their resolve to struggle.

Medha Patkar, Suniti S R, Prafulla Samantara, Dr. Sunilam, Arundhati Dhuru, Vilas Bhongade, Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Vijay Diwan, Vimal Bhai, Prasad Bagwe, Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant, Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar

Contact: 09818905316 | napmindia@gmail.com

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Jagatikikaran Virodhi Kruti Samiti

Indefinite Dharna against forced acquisition for Delhi Mumbai Industrial corridor in Raigad, Maharashtra

Mangon / Mumbai, April 17 : The farmers and workers of Raigad district are on an indefinite dharna in front of Sub divisional office at Mangaon dist. Raigad, Maharashtra since April 10th. They have been served notices for acquisition of their land under the Maharashtra Industrial Corporation Act. 67,500 acres of land is to be acquired for Dighi port industrial area as a node in Proposed Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Farmers from 78 villages under Mangaon, Roha and Tala Tahsils would become completely landless.

All the village Panchayats have unanimously resolved not to give their land for this disastrous and pro corporate project, which has been undemocratically planned too. However the state govt. has not taken any cognizance so far. The panchayats have been further asked to surrender their common property lands and give NOC for it’s transfer. This has created a lot of unrest amongst farmers. The individual notices have been issued to six villages and the 7/12 extracts of all the lands in these villages have been stamped and reserved for the proposed corridor.

How are we going to survive if we lose entire land, the only source of our livelihood, ask the farmers. They don’t trust the govt and it’s assurances as the experience in the past has been totally negative. Why govt is in a hurry to grab the lands before the new land acquisition bill gets passed at the Centre which gives space to the farmers to express their opinions, ask the farmers. Despite the directions given by the Union ministry forced and compulsory acquisition is going on. The irrigated as well as good amount of fertile paddy fields are being acquired. This has enraged the farmers further.

The dharna started on 10th April in the presence of Mr. N. D. Patil, and several activists from various parts of the state, under the banner of Jagatikikaran Virodhi Kruti Samiti. Every day one village comes to dharana to express their resolve not to part with their lands, in big numbers with women and children.

Detailed project report of this project has not been prepared yet. Environment impact assessment is also not done. Why the govt is in hurry then? Asks Ulka Mahajan who is leading the struggle. The govt. sources are not ready to disclose any information nor is there any transparency. This creates a lot of doubts in the minds of the farmers.

Sub Divisional officer Mangaon has been appointed as land acquisition authority , who has powers to fix the compensation upto 50,000 Rs. per acre according to the notice issued to the farmers. However the guardian minister of the dist. Mr. Suneel Tatkare, declared that he would try to give 10 lakh rs. per acre. The farmers laugh at this attempt and they don’t want to give the lands even if the compensation is increased. Recently the residents of Raigad presently living in Mumbai got organized and decided to launch agitation against this forced acquisition in Mumbai on 1st May at Azad Maidan.

The dharana would continue till mid May 2013, till every village registers it’s protest. Several groups and associations such as bar association, Patrakar Sangh, doctor’ association, have declared their support to the agitation.

Ulka Mahajan (9869232478)

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : http://www.napm-india.org

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia

 

Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off their indefnite fast

Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off their indefnite fast after meaningful resolution of the issues

No demolitions of the 6 projects untill the enquiry is complete

GaneshKrupa Society land belongs to the residents : decision of the joint meeting

Mandala to be the pilot project of Rajiv Awas Yojana of Mumbai

Process of slum declaration and providing civic amenities will happen according to the earlier agreement between Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and Govt. of Maharashtra

All conditions of the LOI to be complied with and in cases of fraud documents it will be withdrawn

On the 9th day of Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar’s fast at Golibar, Mumbai, Sh. Pritviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra intervened. After a meaningful meeting and written assurances by the Principal Secretary(Housing) and CEO, SRA followed by a meeting and agreement to the demands by the Chief Minister, Medha patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off the fast at 1 AM on 13th April, 2013, but the struggle will continue to ensure proper implementation of the decisions.

Earlier in the day on April 12, thousands of supporters and Slum Dwellers reached to the door step of Chief Minister Bunglow and protested there the whole day, which forced the Chief Minister to agree on the demands on the 9th day of the fast.

A delegation consisted of Sh. ChandraShekhar, Architect, Vidya Bal, Editor, Miloon Saryajani (a Marathi Magazine), Pushpa Dave, Writer, Anjali Damania, Sumit Wajale, Prerna Gaikwad, Ajit Gavkhedkar and residents of Golibar and other slums in Mumbai met the Chief Minister.

The fast started on 4th April, 2013 after demolition of 70+ houses of GaneshKrupa Society, Golibar with the following demands:-

1. The enquiry in respect of 6 S.R.A. Projects, under the chairmanship of Principal secretary, Housing, is in progress since 13th January, 2013. We demand that the work in all these projects should be stopped untill the report of the enquiry is completed and actions taken on the recommendations.

2. If demolitions are being carried out in accordance with court rulings but the preconditions put forth are not met, main issues and allegations of corruption through forgery, fraudulent consent are not resolved etc., then in such cases project work should be stopped and no further demolitions be carried.

3. In cases where the residents have submitted self development projects or wish to submit the same, they should be sanctioned and encourgaed and started immediately.

4. S.R.A. Should ensure that in case of ongoing S.R.A. Projects all conditions in L.O.I. should be complied with.

5. The L.O.I. of the developer should be withdrawn wherever the developers have submitted forged / false documents or wrong information in violation of the L.O.I – as in case of Shivalik builders.

6. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has agreed to implement ‘Rajeev Awas Yojana’ in the slums of Mumbai instead of S.R.A., on 2nd January, 2013. However these very slums are being buldozed even today. So, the displacement of these slums should be stopped till R.A.Y. is implemented. The same was conveyed to the State Government by the Union Minister Ajay maken on April 2, 2013.

7. Pilot projects in respect of slum at Mandala, Mankhurd under the R.A.Y. Have already been submiited to the state as well as Central Governments. That should be approved and implemented at the earliest.

8. Civic amenities (like water, toilets, nallahs, roads ) should be provided to all the slums immediately as per the written assurance given by the Municipal Commissioner.

9. The Chief Secretary had given a written assurance on 25th May, 2011 that 19 bastis as agreed in the list, after 9 day fast by Medha Patkar, will be decalred slums within 3 months. There is no action on this assurance till date. The same should be done. The Chief Minister, and the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Housing had premised again in January, 2013 to complete this action during discussions held with them. They also gave a written assurance to that effect. The displacements that are being carried out at present are, therefore, grossly unjust and hence should be stopped forthwith.

10. Shri Ajay Maken, Minister for Housing and Urban poverty alleviation, Government of India has written a letter to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra state on 2nd April, 2013. The Chief Minister should declare his stand on the letter in writing.

11. The land of Sathe Nagar should be given for R.A.Y. . This land is currently under the hold of Bombay Soap company.

Chief Minister Agreed to the Following :-

1. On the issue of Ganesh Krupa Society’s Land: The residents of the Society has paid the amount towards the cost of the land to the government which they agreed. Without the consent of the residents the land cannot be developed. A Joint Meeting within a week will decide about the development of the land.

2. Rehabilitation building has been constructed on the Defence land which is under court process. No one at the rehabilitation site will be homeless even if defence wins the case. MHADA and Government of Maharashtra will look into the matter.

3. No demolition untill the enquiry is complete :- Chief Minister agreed to halt on demolitions of the 6 SRA projects by the Principal Secretary (housing) till the enquiry report comes and action taken. They will take action on the fraudulent cases related to SRA. The enquiry has been promised to be completed by 15th May, 2013.

4. Mandala will be declared as the Pilot Project of Rajiv Awas Yojana in Mumbai. Chief Minister will talk to the Central Govt. to implement Rajiv Awas Yojana in Mumbai.

5. Slum declaration process will be according to the earlier agreement between the Andolan and Government of Maharashtra in May, 2011.

6. Chief Minister agreed to take Mandala as the Pilot Project of Rajiv Awas Yojana and to talk to the Central Government on RAY.

7. They ensured all ongoing SRA projects will be complied with all conditions of LOI and in cases of Fraud documents, LOI will be withdrawn.

After the agreement between Chief Minister and the delegation from the Movement, Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off the fast by Vidya Tai Bal and Pushpa Tai Dave.

Prerna Gaikwad, Aba Tandel, Ajit Gavkhedkar, Alex, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yeole, Rajkumar, Santosh Thorat, Shriram Bhardwaj, Ajay Palande, Sangeeta, Jameel Bhai, Imtiaz Sheikh, Poonam Kanaujia, Uday Mohite, Seela Manaswinee

Contact : 09892727063 | 09212587159 | napmindia@gmail.com

P.S. Letter from the SRA in Marathi and Hindi translated copy and photographs attached herewith

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : http://www.napm-india.org

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia

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