Press Release: Delhi Citizens join in solidarity with the Chetawani Upwas in Bhopal

Press Release

Delhi citizens come together to extend solidarity with the Chetawani Upwas in Bhopal by the people from the Narmada Valley

New Delhi, April 28: A group of more than 50 protestors under the banner of Delhi solidarity Group and National Alliance of People’s movements gathered in front of Madhya Pradesh Bhawan today to provide solidarity to the ongoing Chetawani Upwas (27-29th April) by Narmada Bachao Aandolan in Bhopal. The people, who wanted to submit a memorandum to the Resident Commissioner, had to confront a strong police barricade in front of MP Bhawan. They spoke about the current situation of the people already displaced by the dams and lack of implementation of rehabilitation to them. People also raised concerns about the apathy shown by the Government of Madhya Pradesh in insisting on raising the height of Sardar Sarovar without having any plans to safeguard the lives and livelihood of the people. They also strongly demanded the release of the Justice Jha Commission report withheld by the state government. Linking it with the current issue of water shortage, they demanded that the government is losing its priorities when it is drowning people on one side and killing others due to drought on other side.

It’s been three decades since the people of the Narmada valley have been struggling against the unjust displacement due to the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The construction of the dam was restarted in June 2014 and now the dam height is nearing completion. As we approach the Monsoon, two hundred thousand people are faced with the threat of submergence. These families are still living in the submergence zone, they will lose their villages with schools, temples, mosques, houses, farms with prime agriculture and horticulture panchayats and one township partly submerged before, will be further affected.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan has challenged the government’s false affidavits on the question of complete R&R and exposed the massive corruption involved in the process. The petition of NBA to the Madhya Pradesh High Court constituted a commission of Enquiry under Justice S. S. Jha (referred as Jha Commission). The Jha commission submitted its report after nearly 7 years of detailed investigation into cases of corruption involving government employees and accepted the massive fraud to tune of 1000 crores. The Justice Jha Commission report has the numbers – 1500, 2000 or may be more and details of all fake registries, the amount of money wasted, and all the agents and officials involved in the scam.

But the State of Madhya Pradesh has refused to grant NBA access to the report! Furthermore, even the MLA’s have not been given access to the report. All this has been done citing privilege of the State Assembly. The corruption in the Narmada Valley Development Authority (N.V.D.A) must be uncovered.

In addition, the question of the quality of resettlement sites cannot be ignored. All culprits involved must be punished regardless of being an officer or an agent.

During decades of struggle NBA could succeed in getting 14,000 Adivasis, Dalit farmers and their families could receive land and due to R&R especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra. But Madhya Pradesh is a different story, only 40 to 50 displaced families have been allotted land. Even today, 40,000 families live in the submergence zone.

The Madhya Pradesh government has constantly fudged the number of oustees even changing Back Water Level data, and thereby excluded many people from the submergence area and lists of Project Affected People thereby denying them their due R&R share – initially 4,374 families and then another 15,900 families. Such action affecting about 20,000 families is both unscientific and illegal.

These villages that lie in the submergence zone are full of life and activity, with its houses, panchayats, temples, masjids, shops, markets and lakhs of trees, which cannot be submerged without proper resettlement violating the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal and Supreme court judgments of 1992, 2000 and 2005.

Despite all this, Central government along with the Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat governments, have continued the construction of dam, which is almost complete to the height of 139 metres.

Immediate action must be taken to release the Jha commission report and complete the R&R of the affected people before submergence of adivasi families/villages and township causing devastation & destitution.

The demands raised by the Narmada Bachao Andolan are,

1. Make the Jha Commission Report on massive corruption in rehabilitation public. Send the guilty to Jail. Now!

2. Complete R&R of farmers, labourers, fisher people, and artisans numbering thousands before monsoon. Gates of the dam shouldn’t be closed till R&R is complete and all affected are resettled at new sites, in 3 states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat at the earliest with all entitlements as per law and SC judgments.

For more details, please contact at: 9958797409

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Supreme Court stresses on the Right to Land for the Sardar Sarovar Oustees

PRESS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release                                                                           28th September, 2015

Supreme Court dismisses Govt. of MP’s Application denying right to land to thousands of adult sons of Sardar Sarovar oustees

Right to land of every adult son as per 2000 & 2005 judgement remains intact

NBA welcomes Order: SC Order establishes that large scale pending R&R

New Delhi: In a significant Order, the Social Justice Bench of the Supreme Court comprising Jst. Madan Lokur and Jst. Uday Umesh Lalit today dismissed an Application filed by the Government of Madhya Pradesh (GoMP) / Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) seeking a ‘modification / clarification’ of the Apex Court’s previous judgements of 2000 and 2005, thereby denying right to land of a few thousand adult sons of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) affected farmers.

The Hon’ble Court held among other things that the Application by State of MP suffers from gross delay / laches having being filed many years after the judgements were issued (upholding the right to land of the SSP adult sons) and the rights / entitlements already accrued to the oustees in principle cannot be taken away. The Bench also had to take note of the fact that while the entitlement of most of the adult sons have already been recognized many many years ago, one set of oustees have been offered land / Special Rehabilitation Package (5.5. lakhs for 5 acres) since the judgement of 15/3/2005 of the Apex Court and another set of oustees are being denied the same; this would result in a clear violation of Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees a fundamental right to equality. Terming this “not to be good governance”, the Court summarily dismissed the Application.

Arguing for the oustees, Adv. Sanjay Parikh stated that besides being un-maintainable, the Application is based on a gross misinterpretation of the 2011 judgement of the Apex Court, in the Omkareshwar Dam case, which is not applicable to the Sardar Sarovar oustees. He said that as per the Narmada Tribunal Award and the 2005, 2005 judgements, all adult sons are un-disputably entitled to 5 acres of cultivable and irrigable land. He also informed the Court that the NCA, R&R Sub-Group and the GRA, all 3 authorities concerned with the SSP oustees have already taken decisions / issues orders to the effect that the Omkareshwar judgement if not applicable on SSP and the SSP adult sons are entitled to land allotment separately.

NBA and all the SSP oustees welcome the Order of the Hon’ble Court which is not just an affirmation of the judgements of 2000 and 2005 of the Court, but also is a vindication of the rights and struggle of thousands of adivasis and other farmers, who have been waiting for land-based rehabilitation since many years and many of their families have also faced unlawful submergence in the previous years.

The effect of today’s order is that all the adult sons of the Sardar Sarovar Oustees would be entitled to and have to be allotted 5 acres of cultivable land separately. This includes hundreds of farmers who have been entangled in the fake registries scam (almost 2000 + oustees to be finalized by the Jst. Jha Commission), 1,500 oustees who been received only one instalment of cash but could not purchase land and hundreds of those who have been given uncultivable land out of the land bank. About 500 applications pending before the GRA (M.P.) can also now be immediately decided in the favour of the adult sons on the basis of today’s order.

The Respondents in this case were represented by Adv. Sanjay Parikh, assisted by Adv. Clifton Rozario and Adv. Ninni Susan and Medha Patkar, who is a petitioner-in-person in the connected matters. GoMP was represented by ASG Adv. Patwalia and the NCA by ASG Tushar Mehta.

Mukesh              Babu Awasya                      Rahul Yadav                  Contact Ph: 09179148973 

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Narmada Bachao Andolan,
Narmada-Ashish, Off Kasravad Road,

Navalpura, Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh – 451551
Ph: 07290-291464; Fax: 07290-222549
E-mail: medha.narmada@gmail.com ;
nba.medha@gmail.com
Twitter:     @medhanarmada

4 Judge People’s Tribunal: ‘Development’ or Jaws of Death? Question Sardar Sarovar Oustees

Press Release                                                       12th September, 2015

Open Court Verdict in the Narmada Valley Dam increases! Submergence decreases? –

Fraud on the People,  Sardar Sarovar Dam Work Unlawful:

4 Judge People’s Tribunal  ‘Development’ or Jaws of Death? Question Sardar Sarovar Oustees

2 day Jan Adalat concludes: 4 Retired Justices call upon Supreme Court and Govt. of India to review the status of displacement, submergence and rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar oustees

Rajghat / Badwani, M.P. Pronouncing their interim verdict in the presence of about 10,000 oustees of Sardar Sarovar Dam, based on their observations and assessment of the legal and field situation, a Panel of 4 retired Judges of various High Courts concluded gross violations of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award and Judgements of the Supreme Court. Speaking at the proceedings of the “Jan Adalat” organized by eminent citizens of the country, well-known Justices including Jst. P.C Jain (Rajasthan High Court), Jst. Nag Mohan Das (Karnataka High Court) and Jst. V.D. Gyani (Madhya Pradesh High Court) and Jst. N.K. Mody (Madhya Pradesh High Court) expressed grave concern at the displacement of about 2.5 lakh people due to the completion of the Dam and the mass violation of the constitutional right to life, destruction of livelihoods, as also wiping out of an entire culture and civilization.

They stated that the further dam work and installation of gates should not proceed in the present circumstances of clear evidence of multiple violations. Observing that the concerned authorities have miserably failed to comply with the provisions of the Award and the Apex court’ orders and have committed serious dereliction of legal obligations, they called for a serious review of the entire situation and a serious social-economic impact assessment. The Govt. and Apex Court must widen their horizons of ‘development’, in the light of the complex realities of the 30 years struggle of the Narmada valley, they said.

Reading out the operative part of their preliminary verdict, Jst. Jain exclaimed that the official claims of no additional submergence due to the current dam work is clearly unlawful and also unbelievable, since when the dam is being completed with the same original height, there is no reason why the submergence area would not increase ! Listening to testimonies of about 35 oustees they found that the Judgement of the Supreme Court dt. 18/10/200 and 15/3/2005 as well as several orders of the Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRAs). Jst Jain also said that the Government must await the Report of Jst. Jha Commission of Inquiry into Corruption in R&R before any further work is undertaken.

The 4 Justices urged the Social Justice Bench of the Apex Court to review its decisions and hearings in the light of the overwhelming evidence of legal violations and well as the obviously flawed “full rehabilitation” reports of the project authorities. The Jan Adalat specially acknowledged the valiant role of thousands of women warriors in the valley who have been keeping the torch of struggle aglow over the past 30 years.  These observations were made after hearing the depositions of about 35 oustees from the three states of M.P., Maharashtra and Gujarat, perusal of the NWDTA, various orders of the Apex Court, GRAs, interim reports of Jst. Jha Commission, official correspondence and intensive visit to various affected villages in the tehsils of Badwani, Kukshi, Manavar and Dharampuri yesterday.

The deponents before the Tribunal today included representatives of adivasis from the hilly and plain areas, other farmers who have been entangled in the fake registries scam, received meagre cash and denied land or given land from the land bank, landless oustees, including fish workers, potters, boatmen, small traders etc. Oustees from Maharashtra and Gujarat also expressed their grievances and pointed out to major violations.  The hearing was conduced in a completely formal manner, with a People’s Court set-up on the Narmada river bank at Rajghat and each oustee / deponent stood in the ‘dock’, as s/he deposed.

Bhagirath Dhangar spoke of the plight of hundreds of farmers, workers, small traders, shopkeepers, hawkers etc. whose lands and livelihoods are to be lost by the dam increase, with no alternative R&R in sight.   He questioned if the balance is indeed ‘0’, then how is it that the govt. fair price shops, panchayats, voting and even govt. licensed wine shops are functioning here? Mahesh Patel exposed the fraud in the name of back water levels due to which 16,000 families has been declared “out of submergence”. He said that all these unscientific claims would be blown up by Narmada herself and her fury into which 99 tributaries and 999 large darins flow. Fish worker families represented by Savabai (Pichhodi) & Madubhai (Chikalda) demanded fishing rights in the reservoir and alternative livelihood.  They said that fishing and riverine rights cannot be compensated in monetary terms.

Mr. Karan Yadav from Pipri read out the message from Mr. Ramesh Patel, the MLA of Badwani, admitting that governmental reports of R&R are patently false and that 99% oustees, still reside in the original villages awaiting R&R. Mr. Patel submitted a written demand to the Tribunal that the SSP gates should not be installed at this stage, without completion of R&R, as per law.  Meera spoke of the absolute failure and connivance of the elaborate machinery of monitoring and project authorities in complying with the Apex Court’s orders and demanded that all the clearances granted by the authorities are unlawful and need to be set aside by the Apex Court. Adv. Umesh stated that thousands of SSP oustees are now owners of the acquired lands/houses as per 2013 LAQ Act and Govt. dare not dispossess them.

Medha Patkar decried the massive violation of the rights of the Gram Sabhas in the constitutionally protected scheduled adivasi areas. She spoke of the possibilities of and need for a review even at this stage to avert the inhuman pauperization of 2.5 lakh people, for the benefits of corporates. “While displacement and disaster is planned by the State, development and rehabilitation is not” she said and concluded that continuation with the dam would mean a mass atrocity on the dalits and adivasis.

Shri Soumya Dutta, one of the members of the recent Fact-Finding Team to the Narmada valley (May, 2015), whose report has received wide attention and even alerted the Judges of a disaster in Narmada moderated the proceedings and shared with the Judicial panel, the findings of his Report co-authored by senior political leaders and experts including Hannan Mollah, Annie Raja, Dr. Sunilam, Raj Kchroo and Benoy Vishwam.

The Panel of Judges was invited by a team of distinguished citizens including Jst (Retd.) Rajinder Sacher [Retd. Chief Justice, Delhi High Court].; Syeda Hameed [Former Member, Planning Commission of India and National Commission for Women]; Sagar Sarhadi, Senior film maker, short story and play writer, writerdirector and producer; Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Eminent Educationalist and Founder, All India Forum on Right to Education.; Ramdas Bhatkal, Founder, Popular Prakashan, Mumbai and Senior Litterateur and Anand Patwardhan, Internationally Acclaimed Film Maker on Developmental and Human Rights Issues to hear the oustees and State agencies and give its findings on the legality of the decisions of the Government to pursue the dam work in the light of large number of complaints of denial of R&R.

Notably, the highest officials of the Central and State Governments including the Chairpersons of the NCA, R&R Sub Group and GRA, as well as the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Commissioner of NVDA, Bhopal, Collector, Nandurbar (Mah) and Commissioner, SSPA (Guj) were invited on behalf of the Organizers, but as none of them turned up, their chairs were kept vacant !

The hearing today was preceded by a day-full of intensive visits yesterday to various villages including Khalghat, Dharampuri Township as well as Vill. Semalda (Teh. Manavar) and Villages Chhota Barda, Pipri and Chikalda, Kadmal-Khaparkheda (Tehsil Kukshi); where elderly persons and women who poured out their grievances of denial of R&R, poor quality amenities at the resettlement sites, massive corruption, unlawful submergence in 2012-13 etc. The hearing began with a homage to Shri. Ramaswamy Iyer who passed away 2 days ago. Madhuresh of NAPM remembered of him as a beacon, for decades, in the water-ecology sector, whose own life was enriched by his engagement with the SSP struggle, as a Govt. Member of the 5-Member Review Panel and later his valuable contributions to the water rights regime, acknowledged internationally.

Mukesh          Hirdaram           Rahul Yadav                     Leelabai

Contact Ph: 09179148973 / 09179617513

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Major issues put forth before the People’s Tribunal

Some of the major issues that the oustees from the three states put forth before the Tribunal are:-

  1. a) Representatives of tribals – farmer (Kailash Awasya-Vill Bhilkeda, Surbhan-Vill. Kakrana and Ghokru-Vill.Bhadal) spoke of the atrocities on adivasis in the hills and plains and demanded that oustees who have not accepted cash and have been given bad land, should be given good land and compensation as per the GRA’s orders. They rejected the cash grants, exposed fraud in the name of land bank and SRP and demanded cultivable land as well as interim relief.
  1. b)   Deven Tomar, Dayaram and Rahul Yadav exposed the 1,000 crore corruption scam due to the fake registries, house plot irregularities, sub-standard works at R&R sites, livelihood grant fraud and demanded that there must be no further dam work until the Report of Jst. Jha Commission is out.
  1. c) Devram Kanera stated that there are lots of reasons to review the SSP even at this state. When the dam cost has shot up from Rs. 4,000 crores to Rs. 90,000 crores., why cannot there be a comprehensive review? Why not search for alternatives, he questioned ?
  1. d) Bhagiram (Piplud) and Mohan (Kundiya) who have been given only one instalment of the Special Rehabilitation Package refused the meagre cash grants, asserted the right to land of 1500 oustees like them and also of the 2000+ oustees those who have been entangled in fake registries scam or have been given only meagre cash in lieu of land.
  1. e) Representatives of landless and fish families including Pemal (Dhanora) refused the meagre cash grants as “rehabilitation” and stated that more than 10,000 families like hers are entitled to stable and sustainable alternative livelihood. She demanded that the middlemen should be completely eliminated from the R&R process.
  1. f) Sanobar Bi spoke of the impacts of Displacement, Denial of R&R and Implications for women and the unique situation of river-dependent women farmers, widows, single women.
  1. g) Haribhai, an old encroacher from Vill. Segava stated that hundreds of old encroachers on government land entitled to R&R are being denied land, since decades.
  1. h) Fish worker families represented by Savabai (Pichhodi) and Madhubhai (Chikalda) demanded fishing rights in the reservoir and alternative livelihood.  They said that fishing rights, river bed cultivations, boating rights etc. cannot be compensated in monetary terms. Madubhai also questioned the illegality of the GRA’s orders denying compensation for the 2012-13 submergence on the ground that submergence was due to the Omkareshwar dam waters, although the impact was due to the SP dam wall of 121.92 mts.
  1. i) Ramesh Prajapati from Nisarpur demanded recognition of the rights of the potters with alternative land for the brick kilns and the narrated the woes of potters due to frequent problems faced from the local administration.
  1. j) Mohan Patidar deposed on the status of villages like Bhavaria, Malangaon, Sondil etc. where entire hamlets are to become marooned (tapu – affected), but no surveys have been done in M.P. and no R&R entitlements have been given till date.
  1. k) Balram Kevat demanded livelihood rights for the generations, 5,000 strong old boats-men community affected by the SSP and other dams on Narmada.
  1. l) Shantabai warned of disasters worse than Nepal and Uttarakhand if the nature’s laws are are ignored and ecologically unsound projects like large dams or river linking is pursued !
  1. m) Bhagirath Dhangar (Chikalda) spoke of the plight of hundreds of small traders, shopkeepers, hawkers, artisans, tailors whose livelihoods are to be lost by the dam increase, with no alternative R&R in sight.   He said if the balance is indeed 0, then how is it that the govt. fair price shops, panchayts, voting and even govt. licensed wine shops function here ?
  1. n) Mahesh Patel (Vill. Kundiya) exposed the fraud in the name of back water levels due to which 16,000 families has been wrongly declared as “out of submergence”. He said that all these claims are unlawful and will be exposed by Narmada herself and her fury into which 99 tributaries and 999 large drains flow.
  1. o) Madan Alave (Pichhodi) stated that hundreds of tribal and other small farmers who are losing lands even for the R&R sites are denied land-based R&R. How can rehabilitation be complete without giving us land, he asked.
  1. p) Noorji Padvi (Vill. Danel) and Punya Vasave (Somaval R&R site), Maharashtra along with Yogini stated that when not less than 1200 oustees in Maharashtra, mostly affected under 121.92 mts, even at 80 mts are yet to be rehabilitated, how can the Governments claim “full or even substantial compliance”. Good land, irrigation facilities, house plots, compensation etc. are yet to be given to hundreds. The self-contradictory affidavits of the GoM before the Apex Court expose the fraud, they said.
  1. q) Lakhan Musafir, with Chaintamani and Shankar Kagda from Gujarat deposed about the status of the oustees in Gujarat and they stated that while hundred affected since decades are yet to be rehabilitated and still face problems at the R&R Sites such as denial of quality land, civic amenities etc, thousands more are to be affected in the name of  tourism projects, Garudeshwar weir, Sardar Patel Statue of Unity, Bharat Bhavan, Naar-Paar River Link Project etc.  Unique Problems of Project-affected in Gujarat: 6 Colony-Affected, Oustees due to Tourism plans, Garudeshwar weir,. – Costs and Benefits of SSP
  1. r) Vikram Verma and Mansaram Jat decried the massive impact to be caused on the Dharampuri township where not less than 10,000 people reside and Govt. claims that thousands are now suddenly ‘out of submergence’. Mr. Jat appealed to “My Lords” to ensure that the villages and real India survive.
  1. s) Mukesh and Jagish Patidar spoke of the further destruction to be caused by the canals in the irrigated villages, affected by SSP and Maheshwar dams close to Narmada and stated that while the Apex Court and Expert Committees have been looking into the violations, many grievances are still not fully resolved.
  1. t) Umesh Patidar drew the Panel’s attention to the fact that thousands of oustees have become absolute owners as per Sec 24(2) New Land Acquisition Act, 2013 and their lands should neither be submerged nor they be dispossessed without due legal process.
  1. u) Tukaram of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan demanded that there should be a complete moratorium on large dams and only small projects in the interests of the farmers, workers and environment must be pursued

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Narmada Bachao Andolan,
Narmada-Ashish, Off Kasravad Road,

Navalpura, Badwani,

Madhya Pradesh – 451551
Ph: 07290-291464; Fax: 07290-222549
E-mail: medha.narmada@gmail.com ;
nba.medha@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MedhaPatkarNBA

Twitter:     @medhanarmada

Blog:        http://narmadabachaoandolan.wordpress.com/

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office: Room No. 29-30, 1st floor, ‘A’ Wing, Haji Habib Bldg, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014;

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Phone : 011 2435 4737
E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com  | Web : www.napm-india.org

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PRESS RELEASE: Independent People’s Tribunal of 4 Judges visits Sardar Sarovar Project Areas

PRESS RELEASE

Independent People’s Tribunal of 4 Judges visits

Sardar Sarovar Project Areas

Receives applications from hundreds of oustees complaining of

gross violations and unlawful submergence

Badwani | 11th Sep, 2015: A Panel of three retired and well-known Justices of various High Courts including Jst. P.C Jain (Rajasthan High Court), Jst. Nag Mohan Das (Karnataka High Court) and Jst. V.D. Gyanai (Madhya Pradesh High Court) visited numerous villages in the Dharampuri, Manavar, Kukshi and Badwani Tehsils of the Sardar Sarovar Project affected areas today and received a large number of complaints / representations of violations of law and policy in the rehabilitation process, corruption and submergence of properties as well as atrocities on the poor, dalits and adivasis by the State.

The Panel of Judges was invited by a team of distinguished citizens including Jst (Retd.) Rajinder Sacher [Retd. Chief Justice, Delhi High Court].; Syeda Hameed [Former Member, Planning Commission of India and National Commission for Women]; Sagar Sarhadi, Senior film maker, short story and play writer, writerdirector and producer; Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Eminent Educationalist and Founder, All India Forum on Right to Education.; Ramdas Bhatkal, Founder, Popular Prakashan, Mumbai and Senior Litterateur and Anand Patwardhan, Internationally Acclaimed Film Maker on Developmental and Human Rights Issues, to hear the oustees and also invite the State agencies for a hearing and give its findings on the legality of the decisions of the Government of India to pursue the dam work in the light of large number of complaints of denial of R&R from the oustees as well as official evidence from the orders of the GRAs, Jst. Jha Commission, High Court and Supreme Court as well as other authorities.

The Judges patiently held hearings in different villages including Khalghat, Dharampuri Township as well as Vill. Semalda (Teh. Manavar) and Villages Chhota Barda, Pipri and Chikalda, Kadmal, Khaparkheda and Nisarpur (Tehsil Kukshi); heard out the oustees, especially elderly persons and women who poured out their grievances of denial of R&R, poor quality amenities at the resettlement sites, massive corruption, unlawful submergence in 2012-13 etc.

The Judges were brief about the irregularities in the back water level surveys by the oustees of Gazipura and denial of livelihood based rehabilitation to the landless. Fish workers of Semalda demanded right to fisheries in the reservoir and alleged no response from the state despite umpteen representations. Farmers from Chhota Barda and Pipri claimed that since they have become owners of their acquired lands / houses, as per the new Land Acquisition Act, the ongoing dam work and attempts to submerge their properties is a gross legal violation. Farmers, workers, adivasis, fisher families from Chikalda, Nisarpur and other villages demanded that the Govt. must first come clean on the true state of land and livelihood based R&R and conduct oustee-wise, village wise fresh surveys before undertaking any further work on the dam.

“In a four hour long visit, I found people still living in the orginal villages and have not rehabilitated. It is unfortunate that the government promise but backtrack when it comes to their rehabilitation. Displacing people without rehabilitation is a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India”, said Justice V.D. Gyani.

“I am shocked to see the scenario here. It is wrong and illegal to displace people without rehabilitation”, commented Justice Jain. “The pain of the people here is deeper than the depth of the Sardar Sarovar Dam”, added Justice Jain after hearing the complaints of the oustees in the villages he visited.

Justice Das who visited the valley for the first time said, “I have read in books about the struggle by the people in the Narmada valley over 30 years”. “Gradually the practice of agriculture of is being declined. The policies results are such that the farmers are discouraged go ahead with agriculture. Agriculture must be respected and encouraged”, he added.

On this occasion social activist Ms. Medha Patkar informed that there are 16,000 families who were earlier declared under submergence at the 122 m height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam but now when the height of the dam is being increased to 17 meters these same families are excluded from the list.

The Judges are to conclude their visit late evening and undertake a detailed hearing called “Jan Adalat” at Rajghat, Badwani tomorrow from 11 a.m. onwards in the presence of thousands of oustees and are likely to announce their interim Opinion / Findings, based on their observations and assessment of the legal and field situation. The Panel shall be joined by Jst. (Retd.) N.K. Modi (M.P. High Court) tomorrow. 

Mukesh         Hirdaram          Rahul Yadav                   Leelabai                  Shantabai                          Contact Ph: 09179148973

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
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States diverting dam water to corporate, alleges Medha Patkar

States diverting dam water to corporate, alleges Medha Patkar:

(Courtesy: ANI)  Bhopal, Sep 09 (ANI): Environmental activist Medha Patkar alleged that state of Madhya Pradesh and neighbouring Gujarat were diverting dam water to corporate at the cost of people’s lives. The Central government has approved a long-stalled proposal to raise the height of the Narmada dam to 138.73 metres (455 feet), from 121.92 metres (400 feet), so more water will be available for drinking, irrigation and power generation. Patkar, who has long campaigned against the project, said many people will be displaced. As chief minister of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned for approval to build the dam higher to protect farmers from drought. Hundreds of people affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam project have started an indefinite sit-in protest in Barwani district to protest increase in height of the dam. They alleged that people in the submergence area had not been rehabilitated.

Medha Patkar writes Open letter to Prime Minister

Modi-Shivraj Go Back: Quit Narmada Valley, Valley Unites on Quit India Day: Demand Real Independence. Thousands of Oustees observe Adivasi Rights Day: Resolve to intensify struggle against monstrous Sardar Sarovar. Gaon Chodab Nahi..Ladhai Chodab Nahi..sings Narmada valley. Medha Patkar writes Open letter to Prime Minister

9th August, 2015:

On the fourth day of the Jeevan Adhikar-Sanghrash Yatra, Narmada valley reverberated with the slogan “Modi-Shivraj Go Back” – “Hamare Gaon me Hamaara Raj, Vaapis Jao Modi Shivraj”. The slogan coincided with the Shaheed Divas and the Quit India Day against the British Raj. Pointing out they have already gone back on their poll promises and constitutional-legal obligations, the people called upon the Modi-Shivraj duo to also “Go Back” and Quit Narmada. The yatris asserted the rights of the Gram Sabhas in the scheduled adivasi areas and questioned the unlawful-inhuman decisions of the Central and State Governments to submerge 245 villages for the Sardar Sarovar Project.

Adivasis, Mankar and oustees of various communities, young and old, men and women sang and danced together to the sound of drum beats in village after village. Remembering Tantya Mama, Khaja Naik, Bhima Naik and other adivasi heroes whose valorous struggles, kept the Nimad region and hilly areas out of the clutches of the British rule, on the Adivasi Rights Day, adivasis and activists unitedly stated that time has come to wage a new war of independence against the brutal Indian State which has decided to massacre 2.5 lakh people without rehabilitation, prioritizing benefits of the dam to corporates who have funded the elections of the ruling party.

Farmers entangled in the fake registries scam under inquiry by the Jst. Jha Commission, farmers who received one instalment of cash, but could not purchase land, farmers given uncultivable land from the land bank – all of them – more than 6,000 eligible farmer-oustees demanded “land for land” and asserted “No Gates, If No Land”. Landless families and fish workers, who number in thousands in the Narmada valley, demanded sustainable alternative livelihood, scoffing at the meagre cash grants and challenging the unlawful submergence.

Addressing hundreds of villages at every village-meeting, Medha Patkar stated that the struggle is not just for the 2.5 lakh people, but to preserve the most ancient civilization, the most fertile lands-agriculture, an entire river valley, to save the history and future from destruction, whether by dams, canals or sand mining. She wrote an Open Letter to the Prime Minister, calling him to convey his Mann ki baat on the realities of Sardar Sarovar, which was read out and endorsed by all Yatris in Village Semalda. Drawing a poetic parallel between Uttarakhand and Kedarnath disasters, Pannalal, Village Kavthi warned people of the impending catastrophe due to the cascade of dams on the Narmada and called for a unified struggle.

The Yatra passed through the villages of Ekalvara, Acchoda, Semalda in Tehsil Manavar today where the oustees challenged the fraudulent back water figures and surveys of the NCA and NVDA. While numerous villages are to go under dam waters, many hamlets are also doomed to become (tapu) marooned, but neither are there any arrangements for rehabilitation nor exit roads / bridges etc. Oustees at the resettlement sites of Perkhad and Sharikpura recounted the severe difficulties of lack of water, electricity, water troughs, drainage, livelihood sources, grazing land, water accumulation in house plots, even expressing regret over shifting to the sites and a desire to go back to the original villages! The Yatris shall cross over the river Narmada from Semalda and reach Village Chhota Barda in Badwani District tonight. The struggle for survival continues…..

Rahul Yadav, Devising Mansaram, Vimla behan

Ph: 09179148973 / 09826811982

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 24374535 Mobile : 09818905316
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6-12 August, 2015 – Padyatra (Footmarch), Khalghat to Rajghat, (in Badwani) Narmada Valley

Stop the Jal-Samadhi of the 2.5 lakh people affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam

6-12 August, 2015 – Padyatra (Footmarch),

Khalghat to Rajghat, (in Badwani) Narmada Valley

Against Development Terrorism and Destructive Displacement

12 August onwards… Jeevan Adhikar Satyagrah (Right to Life)

Dear friends,

Despite the continuous struggle for 30 years in the Narmada Valley, the lives of tribal farmers, fisherfolks, workers and others is under grave threat. With raising the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam, water can flood villages spread upto 214 kilometers and submerge houses, farmers, shops, schools, temples & mosques, lacs of trees. This is a challenge for thousands of families. After every legal and field battle, about 11,000 families would get land but the rest are still without it. Thousands of adivasis, farmers, labourers, fishworkers and potters, those who have struggled for justice, legal and human, will be ousted and displaced. All of them need the support of those who stood by us and shared their energy, who witnessed the years of struggle, who collided with the rulers, who sang songs with us, who wrote, analysed and spread the voice, vision and the truth of the people’s struggle in Narmada, across the world.

All those who used the power of their pen and voice, our friends and allies, people’s groups, young & old, writers, journalists, film makers and other citizens, come together to raise your voice before these rains, against the corporate supported decision by Modi government that will drown and affect thousands of families from 245 villages without rehabilitation.

At the height of 122 mts, Sardar Sarovar Dam has already glutted thousands of hectares of land and submerged hundreds of houses. Right now, Dam height is being raised to 138.68 mts, and a lot of construction work is nearly complete, gates are yet to be put up flouting the decisions of the Supreme Court, ignoring laws and policy and plans, rehabilitation and environmental protection. Just the hilly adivasi areas and plains of Nimad that comprise of densely populated villages and a township, can face a watery grave. All sensitive and concerned citizens and organisations are bound to challenge this!

Every issue related to this dam is an issue related to development – the issue of grabbing thousands of hectares of land, hollow commitments of rehabilitation, left half way and corruption, save the culture and environment of the Valley, diversion of land and water worth crores; to corporations against peasants and other poor. These questions are in resonance with those of the common people and workers of the country and other concerned citizens.

We appeal to you all, the concerned citizens of this nation, to join us at this critical time where Narmada Valley is struggling for its life and death. Join us and sit with us to plan a way ahead and the direction. Stay and walk with us to understand the life in the Valley, truth of rehabilitation and corruption, the status of the dam and other truths.

We will march from 6th of August, from Khalghat, on the banks of Narmada, on a footmarch through the partly affected and to be submerged villages and talk about various people’s struggles, will remember Hiroshima while walking through Khalghat (on the Agra-Mumbai road, 2 hrs from Indore) to Rajghat. Please come and join to judge whether villages have been rehabilitated? Whose facts are right – people’s or rulers’? Join us to see and understand the challenges faced by the people who have followed truth and constitutional path vis a vis the powers all out to submerge. Hear from the people, monitor the water-level yourself and witness the fraud committed….

On 12th of August, we will reach Rajghat, on the banks of Narmada, near Gandhi Samadhi (District Badwani), and begin the indefinite Satyagraha for Right to Life.

Come and Join Us! If not now, then When?

How to reach Khalghat:- The Intercity Express train each night at 10.15 pm from Nizamuddin Railway station (Delhi) to reach Indore at 12:00 pm… and Avantika Express train from Mumbai. The sarvate bus stand is located, at a distance of 10 minutes from Indore Rly Stn. Every 30 minutes, buses leave for Khalghat and Badwani. Buses ply to khalghat from Indore, Dhule, Khandwa, Pune, Baroda and also Mumbai. Khalghat is on Mumbai-Agra highway. Badwani is 1.5 hrs. From Badwani.

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For more information and planning your itinerary please contact-

Badwani contact:- Meera 09179148973, Mukesh 09826811982,

Delhi contact:- VimalBhai 09718479517, Shabnam 09643349452, Sanjeev Kumar 09958797409, Amit 0848694483

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