Union Water Resources and Social Justice Ministers Uma Bharti and Thavar Chand Gehlot meet Narmada Oustee’s Delegation. Assure that the NCA and Rehabilitation Sub Group will look into the demands, before taking further action
Hundreds of protesters issue strong warning to NDA Govt
CPM, Congress and AAP express solidarity with SSP Oustees
Group of MPs and Distinguished Citizens to visit Narmada valley before monsoon session
New Delhi, June 25 : The two day ‘Chetavni Dharna’ of hundreds of Sardar Sarovar Project affected families at Jantar Mantar concluded today with a strong warning to the Prime Minister and NDA Govt. to undertake a serious review of the illegal decision to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Project and assess the true costs and benefits of the Project, which is to cost Rs. 90000 crores, while the Govt. has decided to submerge 2.5 lakh people in the valley. In the name of Kutch and Saurashtra, Gujarat plans to dole out lakhs of hectares of command area land and water to the corporates and industries.
Briefing two key concerned Union Ministers Smt. Uma Bharti, Water Resources Ministry and Shri Thavaar Chand Gehlot, Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry, Medha Patkar and delegation exposed the illegality of decisions of NCA and clearance to the project by the sub-groups (Environment and R&R), on the basis of official documents, court orders and Ministerial correspondence and in violation of Court order.
Ms. Bharti accepted and directed the officials of the Narmada Control Authority to look in to the serious issues pointed out by the team and review the decisions in a participatory manner. We also learned that Mr. Gehlot was wrongly briefed by officials that the recent decision was in “compliance” of the Supreme court judgement while the reality is diametrically opposite and clearance to the dam is utter violation of the court.
Earlier in the day, Medha Patkar, Yogendra Yadav, AAP; Prashant Bhushan, Supreme Court lawyer, Nikhil Dey, of National Campaign for People’s Right to Information addressed the press. Mr. Bhushan condemned the fast – track clearance approach of the Modi Government in all matters and attempt to quell the voice of people’s movements, who are actually trying to raise real people’s issues in the country and challenge undemocratic decisions, as also loot of exchequer by massive corruption and corporate pandering.
Mr. Yogendra Yadav, pointed out that the SSP decision is not just one step by the NDA Govt. but is fully indicative of the approach of Mr. Modi, which they would like to continue for 5 years. This means decisions would be towards destroying environment, suppressing the legitimate rights and voice of people. He challenged the Govt. against submerging hundreds of villages while 1000 crore judicial inquiry into R&R corruption is ongoing and called the country’s aam aadmi and aam aurat to stand up against every undemocratic decision of the new government.
Medha Patkar expressed shock at the fact that decision of the Narmada Control Authority, is basically a political decision pushed by Mr. Narendra Modi, in violation of not just law and contempt of court, but also by bypassing the three concerned Union Ministers, Uma Bharti, Thavaar Chand Gehlot and Prakash Javdekar, all from Madhya Pradesh who had virtually no role in the decision making process. She urged Mr. Modi to face the reality, face, hear the people and come forward for a comprehensive review of the entire project, a duty which is bound, as Prime Minister of India.
Nikhil Dey, of NCPRI denounced those ministers who call themselves deshbhakts but actually work against the interests of the people, if acche din would come then it will for few people at the cost of bure din of millions of poor people. He expressed hope that the time is not far away when they will rise against this tyranny.
Brinda Karat, a long time voice of CPIM inside the Parliament and outside, openly challenged the arbitrary and anti people decisions of Modi Sarkar, be it the 14% rail fare hike, proposals to dilute labour laws of the country as also the move to drown 2.5 lakh people in the three states organized under a three decade old non-violent social movement. She recalled that even in 2006 the CPM supported the Narmda struggle, but over the past 8 years, not rehabilitation, but huge corruption in M.P. and corporatization in the garb of ‘dam’ and ‘development’ has been pushed.
Gautam Mody, Secretary of NTUI lent support to the struggle and called for coming together of farmers, workers and industrial labour to challenge the corporate agenda and the time has come when every people’s movement in the country have to start talking to each other and understand the deep rooted inter-linkages of the issues and tyranny of the political class.
People raised slogans that the country does not belong to Ambanis and Adanis but to aam aadmi and adivsis, the farmers, fisherpeople, workers, small traders and toiling masses,who represent 90% of the country’s population.
Speaking at the protest, Supreme Court Lawyer Sanjay Parikh stated that the stipulation of the Narmada Award and Supreme Court has been fully violated by the Governments, especially Madhya Pradesh where the illegal policy of encashment has led to absolute loot of tribasls and poor people and massive corruption.
Alok Agrawal, struggling for the rights of oustees for Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar etc for more than 20 years challenged the illegality in dam after dam including SSP and called for a complete review of the cascade of dams on the Narmada which is displacing lakhs of family and submerging lakhs of hectares of forest and agricultural land. Advocate Clifton D’Rozario, Organising Secretary AICCTTU, told the gathering that time has come again for the tillers and toilers to stand up against the ihuman displacement and provide an example to movements of this country.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal arrived at the protest yesterday and expressed full solidarity with the struggle and promised that their party would raise the issues both inside the Parliament and also across the country.
A team of MPs and distinguished citizens would visit the valley very soon, mostly before the beginning of the Monsoon session, to raise the issues both within the country and also at every national fora. Modi led Modi Govt.
Protest actions were also held in different cities of Mumbai, Pune by support groups and memorandums to the president were given.
Concluding the two day dharna, a mashaal juloos was undertaken by the protesters and was resolved that satyagraha will be held in every village of the submergence area,where thousands of families,schools, temples, mosques, ghats, markets, panchayats, lakhs of trees etc. still exit.
Meera, Bhagirath Dhangar, Yogini Khanolkar, Kailash Awasya, Kamla Yadav
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