Tag Archives: Narmada

Narmada Valley under threat of 122 meter killer wave

Staff Reporter, Cybernoon, Bombay, September 18, 2006
Presently, the Sardar Sarovar Dam stands at the height of 119 meters, submerging more than 100 villages. The Gujarat government will soon be increasing the height of the wave to 122 meters, putting thousands of labourers, farmers, fisherfolk and their families under the threat of submergence. Adivasi communities in Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, and Jhabua, Manibeli, Badwani and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh were some of the worst affected this monsoon. Gujarat, which witnessed the worst floods in the country this year, saw the Sardar Sarovar filling upto 119 meters and gulping up villages, causing massive devastation.
The Sardar Sarovar Dam’s height was illegally raised from 110.64 to 119 meters, before this year’s monsoon season, due to which the water levels reached up to 150 kilometers upstream of the wall of the dam.
Earlier this month, the project affected families from 33 villages in Maharashtra, demanded that the government should fulfill their basic requirements and withdraw its (Maharashtra government’s) claim of completion of the resettlement and rehabilitation task.
The project affected people still continue to live in original villages as the authorities failed to resettle them. This monsoon has drowned the shelters of more than 250 families in valley, in Maharashtra alone.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan claim that though this monsoon had abnormal incessant rains enough to cause flooding it is the dams that have contributed to the floods everywhere. Dams have worsened the floods.
Apart from Narmada there were many other rivers that witnessed flooding, causing vast devastation of population and property both in urban and rural areas of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.’
“The Action Taken Reports (ATR) claimed that no families are staying in Narmada valley. The various committees set up by the government, surveyed Akrani and Akkalkua districts of Maharashtra and claimed that 1172 families still remained in the valley as they are not provided with alternate shelters and means of livelihood. All the reports are manipulated before submitting to the Centre and Courts,” said Rohan Joshi, an NBA activist. He further added, “The Supreme Court order says that before the height of the dam is increased the rehabilitation task has to be completed a year before, the task which simply seems impossible. It is a pity that the orders of the SC are violated time and again.”
When asked about the rehabilitation state in the valley, Minister of Rehabilitation and Cooperation, Patangrao Kadam commented, “The government will see to it that the rehabilitation takes place, before any further new development on the height of Sardar
Sarovar begins.”
In this centenary year of the Satyagraha Movement, the Narmada Bachao Andolan activists and the tribals embarked on a Satyagraha on August 5th, 2006 and posed a question on the government’s spending of additional 20,000 crores of rupees for raising the height of Sardar Sarovar dam beyond 119 meters, victimizing another lakhs of people.

Share this:

Facebooktwitterredditmail

Narmada Bachao Andolan to knock Supreme Court over rehabilitation

INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE, SEPTEMBER 1O, 2006
Bhopal, Sep 10 (IANS) The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) will move the Supreme Court challenging the Madhya Pradesh government’s claims of having rehabilitated families affected by a power project barring 53.
The group is at continuous loggerheads with the state government over the land acquisition and denial of land entitlements to small and marginal farmers, affected by the Indira Sagar Project (ISP).
‘It was total rehabilitation of 39,153 of the 39,206 affected families that paved way for raising the height of the reservoir to 260 m. Only 53 families had not moved from the reservoir area so far,’ an official spokesman said.
Madhya Pradesh High Court Friday allowed increasing the water level of the Indira Sagar reservoir to 260 m.
Prior to it, the court had on Aug 22, permitted the reservoir to be filled up to 255 m after hearing to all parties concerned which had pleaded that the level should not be raised until about 10,000 people living nearby were rehabilitated.
ISP is a part of the construction of dams on the Narmada river in central India and its impact on hundreds of thousands of people living in the river valley has become one of the most contentious social issues for the past two decades.
The struggle of the people of the Narmada valley against large dams began when the people to be displaced by SSP began organising themselves in 1985-86.
Since then a number of struggles have been launched and a host of court rulings passed but the plight of the sufferers has got aggravated by the day even as government budgets on their rehabilitation have swelled.
‘The NBA along with the ousted will monitor the entire process and continue to raise its voice until relief and rehabilitation of every single evicted is complete,’ NBA activist Alok Agarwal said.
‘NBA’s plea to give land for land or special grant to the displaced was not considered though the rehabilitation policy specifically mentioned that all small and marginal farmers would get a minimum of five acres of land even if they owned less than that,’ Agarwal said.
‘The state government and Narmada Hydro Development Corporation (NHDC) had deliberately denied this, forcing the farmers to take cash compensation,’ he added.
On the other hand, the government claimed that compensation for affected agricultural land apart from special compensation against well, trees and damaged pipelines had been provided under the rehabilitation scheme.
‘Besides, the adult male child and adult unmarried female child, considered separate family units as per provisions of rehabilitation policy, too have been fully compensated,’ the government statement, said.

Share this:

Facebooktwitterredditmail

Narmada Dam overflowing: 5 meters above danger mark

GUJARAT, SEPTEMBER 7, 2006
Heavy rains are causing dams in North and Central Gujarat to fill rapidly. The level in the Narmada Dam has risen to 124 meters, five meters above danger level. The water level has been above the reservoir’s planned capacity for over a month, but the latest inrush of water from the catchment area is unusually heavy.
In Gujarat state 77 dams are brimming over while 114 are on high alert as they are full to more than 90 percent of their capacity.
The Kadana Dam on the Mahisagar river is near its danger level of 127.71 meters and is discharging large volumes of water, causing downstream villages to be put on flood alert.
On the river Sabarmati in northern Gujarat, the Dharoi Dam is just four meters below the danger mark of 192.25 meters.

Share this:

Facebooktwitterredditmail

Medha ‘ashamed and shattered’ after 20 years of Narmada

INDIA NEWS, AUGUST 25, 2006
New Delhi – After 20 years of fighting the battle against the Narmada dam, rights activist Medha Patkar says that democratic spaces are closing and she feels ‘ashamed and shattered’.
‘Twenty years after the Narmada movement I feel ashamed and shattered. The democratic spaces are closing,’ Patkar said late Thursday while delivering the eighth D.S. Borker Memorial lecture here.
‘The whole state has become corporatised. This is a disease, which is killing democracy. Business houses like Reliance – a divided family – are being given land overnight to build special economic zones. Reliance will now divide the nation.’
India cannot march ahead unless it learns to rely on its natural and human resources, Patkar said at the lecture series held in memory of civil servant D.S. Borker.
Talking about her vision of India in 2047, she asserted: ‘We have enough resources to fulfil our needs. There is no crisis of resources. This crisis is fictitious.’
‘Unless we empower communities and make them self-reliant, we cannot deal with the vulgar inequality and vulgar consumerism in India,’ Patkar, who has been fighting tirelessly for the rights of those displaced by the Narmada dam project, said.
‘For this we should all stand up and voice our concerns. We need a more participatory form of democracy and we need to decentralise our management of resources.’
Patkar said we needed to junk the outdated theory of development.
‘That is why the godowns are full, but stomachs empty. We should be ashamed to celebrate a century of freedom if this scenario continues.’
Referring to the tragedy in Rajasthan where five members of a family drowned earlier this week while the entire town watched, she said: ‘The world’s largest democracy just stood and watched the 11-hour drama and all five members of a family drowned one by one standing atop an Indica car. You can imagine the plight of the communities waiting to be submerged standing on a land called India.’
She added that the organisers of the lecture were being threatened for associating with the Narmada movement.
Sitaram Yechury, Rajya Sabha MP, who chaired the session said ‘unless we bridge the divide between Real India and Shining India our vision for 2047 will just remain a dream’.
‘People should control the resources. Their future should be in their hands and not under corporate control,’ Yechury said.
‘There is a clash of three visions – growth vs equity; control of resources and man-nature dialectic. Unless we resolve this in favour of democracy, secularism, economic empowerment of people we cannot change much before 2047.’
Columnist Praful Bidwai said Patkar with her Narmada movement had exposed the contradictions between development and environment protection.
Describing the displacement of people as ‘cultural genocide’, Bidwai said: ‘Thirty-five million people have been displaced in the name of development. Only five million have been rehabilitated.
He said Patkar may have opposed dams but has built many ‘bridges’. ‘She has built the bridge between activism centred on Gandhian and Sarvodaya values; civil society and political parties; and between the reds (Left) and the greens (civil society).’

Share this:

Facebooktwitterredditmail

Agitation on at Narmada valley even as more villages submerge

SOUTH ASIA ONE WORLD, SEPTEMBER 4, 2OO6
NARMADA: SARDAR SAROVAR DROWNS THE ADIVASIS BUT NEITHER THEIR SPIRIT NOR THEIR STRUGGLE
The situation in the Narmada valley today is nothing unexpected yet the most shocking. The Sardar Sarovar Dam, with the height raised, has silently killed the Adivasi communities in the Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh and many in Badwani and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh too.
These generations’ old Adivasis in the Satpura and Vindhya have lost their main sources of livelihood, land, to the sea that the roaring river water is converted to. The houses at higher levels in the hills and mountains and small patches of degraded sloppy land are what they are left behind with. Yet, even after they are pushed to a corner with backs to the mountains and left without any transport, a school, a functional ration shop, with hardly any grain left in the house and no potable water around, mostly, they continue to be satyagrahis, asserting their right to land and life, both.
The Satyagraha continues in village Chimalkhedi in Nandurbar, Bhitada in Jhabua and Chikhalda in Dhar representing 3 sub regions. The Nimad region in Madhya Pradesh have about 100, of 177 villages which are threatened by the dam and can face submergence this monsoon itself. It has not occurred still but those continue to house thousands of families.
All those 25,000 families which Shunglu Committee and National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) interviewed in the submergence area of 122 meters of dam and those they left out due to flaws in research methodology and deliberate manipulation and misinterpretation of data, are the ones which NBA claimed to be affected illegally, without rehabilitation, with no cultivable and irrigable land offered in either Madhya Pradesh or Maharashtra today. With Resettlement & Rehabilitation sites and house plots not ready for thousands of families, the monstrous dam is proving to be a killer as many other projects in the country.
Whatever regulation of water has occurred with the upstream dams filled till now and rains, even if heavy, in different parts of the Valley at different times and dam raise stopped at 119 meters instead of 122 meters, the highly populated non-Adivasi and mixed villages and towns are saved as yet. Those may not escape flooding during the next heavy rain fall in the coming month.
The scenario on the other side of the dam is the most revealing. When the reservoir is full with swollen water body, the canals are empty for anyone to see. This has once again vindicated NBA’s position that Gujarat Government and Narendra Modi pushed the dam, fooling the Prime Minister and the Court with stories of water crisis and without the necessary readiness to use the additional waters. The canal network with 40,000 cusecs capacity is far from complete and when Gujarat could not use the water at 110 meters to satiate thirst of all 8000+ villages, which was technically possible, it cannot, at 119 meters as well.
The villages on the bank of the canal whose houses and fields drowned due to breaches in 2003-2004, again faced submergence in 2 villages of Pavi-Jetpur tehsil, Vadodara, which led them to threaten and prevent the Government from releasing waters into the canals. The canal-head power house could not function to produce the expected power. The tragedy is obvious and people of Gujarat, having faced floods everywhere, are to now raise questions including their own: Who is allowing the rain waters to go to the sea and why?, before an additional 20,000 Crores of rupees are spent and lakhs of other people are affected and victimized raising the Sardar Sarovar Dam height beyond 119 meters.
Press Release issued by:
Ashish Mandloi
Kamala Yadav
Kailash Awasya
Yogini Khanolkar
Rohan Joshi
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
62 Mahatma Gandhi Marg
Badwani, M.P. – 451551
Ph. 07290-222464
badwani@narmada.org
Maitri Niwas, Tembewadi, Dhadgaon, Nandurbar
Maharashtra
Ph: 02595-220620
C/o B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park
Vadodara-390023,
0265-2282232
baroda@narmada.org

Share this:

Facebooktwitterredditmail