By Medha Patkar*
It’s been three long struggle filled decades since the people of the Narmada valley have been non violently opposing the Sardar Sarovar Dam. Thirty years! And the construction of the dam continues with the new height of the dam nearing completion. As we approach the Monsoon, 40,000 families are faced with the threat of submergence. And just like thousand before, these families, living in the submergence zone, will lose their fields, villages, panchayats and towns.
From April 27 to 29, thousands gathered in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh in a ‘Chetavani Upwas’ with a set of demands for the State and Centre. Solidarity actions were held in Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand and other places. Many sent their solidarity messages to us…
We have to keep the pressure on and keep the momentum going, as Monsoon approaches…
Sign our petition to the Prime MinIster and the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (click HERE).
The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has challenged the government’s false affidavits on the question of complete Rehabilitation & Resettlement and exposed the massive corruption involved in the process. Through our petition, 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 hearings into cases of corruption involving influential people and accepted the massive fraud to tune of 1000 Crores.
But now we have been denied access to the report! The State of Madhya Pradesh has challenged our access to this report of enquiry in the Courts citing privilege of the State Assembly.
We urgently demand:
- Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh – Make the Jha Commission Report Public, Send Guilty Officials to Jail NOW!
- Prime Minister to Complete R&R before this Monsoon, till then Stop Construction of the Dam!
In three decades of struggle, we have succeeded in getting 14,000 Adivasis, Dalit farmers and their families land and due 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 backwater level data and thereby kept many people out of the numbers of Project Affected People, thereby denying them their due R&R share – initially 4374 families and then another 15,900 families. Such action 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.
In addition to signing the petition you can:
- Write directly to the Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and Minister of Water Resources and press for our demands.
- Organise a solidarity actions, programmes, discussions wherever you are, schools, colleges, streets, villages, cities and so on.
- Take to social media, post solidarity messages, postcards, memes, or whatever it takes to create the buzz and pressure on authorities to act.
- Volunteer with us for weeks, months, or years and be a part of the movement.
*Narmada Bachao Andolan