Govt wants to close Narmada dam’s gates without complete rehabilitation, submerging thousands

narmadaBy Medha Patkar*

After almost 32 years of struggle, lakhs of people in the Narmada valley to be affected by Sardar Sarovar, are being threatened of brutal eviction. The government of Madhya Pradesh has begun sending its emissaries to convey to the farmers, labourers and all inhabitants of the valley that they will have to move out of their homes and hearths, their farms and orchards. They are asked to leave behind their pakka houses, children’s schools, the shops and markets, all the sources of livelihood attached to land and the mother river Narmada. All the temples and ghats, mosques and mazars, age old religious and cultural monuments, not just archaeological but their ancestor’s remnants underneath which are not live yet legendary.

Officials and employees are merely the carriers of the message that all the people, poor and not so poor, must leave their generations old motherland, Narmada basin, even without any shelter ready to house them. They will be given a tin shed if they come out of their houses, it may be one built of bricks and mud or cement. Those in one storied buildings, well-to-do farmers and traders, too, will follow the poor, landless, fisher people, potters and labourers.

This when rehabilitation sites are not at all ready with amenities, mandated under the Narmada Tribunal Award, endorsed by all the judgements of the Apex Court, 1992, 2000, 2005 until February 2017. Huge corruption in the establishment of these sites was exposed by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and then by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA); 40 engineers were sacked after a long legal battle indicating low quality, and the same was fully exposed by the technical reports of IIT, Mumbai, and MANIT, Bhopal, submitted to and accepted by the Justice Jha Commission.

Just like on paper, the condition on the ground, too, shows that 90% of families haven’t shifted to new sites, which are full of problems; they don’t have drinking water or drainage, leading to waterlogging and submergence of houses. Many have no house plots to build houses on, with large pits, unleveled. Thousands of families can’t even build the plinths with the meagre compensation for a house paid to them 10 to 15 years back!

All this, the Supreme order of February 8, 2017 said, can be complained to the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA), which in turn can give directions to the Narmada Valley Development Agency (NVDA). Despite detailed complaints, this has not happened. As no construction or repairs have taken place at sites over the years, where would people go?

What does the law say? When the Supreme Court has said that the final figures of beneficiaries has not yet been ascertained and officials can’t provide full lists of those who are to be benefited, how dare they evict people, following only a selected part of the verdict? When the authorities were always reporting full compliance, why do they claim they will now fell trees and evict gods and temples and mosques, along with people? Now, after more than 60 years, by converting land rights into cash, the apex court has opened the Pandora’s box, including the middleman’s in nexus with the NVDA with the full support of the GRA,which has former judges as members. NBA is in a battle with them all.

Meanwhile, the much trumpeted Narmada Seva Yatra was concluded by the Prime Minister with a gathering of 1 lakh and more people and the media on May 15th. The glaze is such that the CM and PM are promoting themselves as saviours of the river Narmada, while the damned river is not just polluted by them but is being diverted too! From whom are they trying to save this least polluted river? Why are they suddenly spending Rs 1000+ crore on propaganda? It’s the corporate power, Coca Cola to Adani, which is snatching away waters leaving the riverine population high and dry,  wiping it out!

The state is getting ready to use force, which they were never ever permitted by any court, till the latest order of February 8th this year. The give-and-take settlement (it’s not resettlement) that the order brings forth is now being implemented on the ground when thousands of people will be tried to be forcibly evicted, even though, as per their statement, which is an underestimation,  “112 villages from 4 districts in MP,  Badwani, Dhar, Alirajpur and Khargone, 8000 families would be affected.” Meanwhile, 76 villages from district Dhar are being asked to vacate.  Why should people do? If they don’t vacate, will the battle in the village after village be converted into state power pitted against its own people?

In NBA’s estimation, there are not less than 40,000 families in the submergence area, especially in Madhya Pradesh, and a few hundred in Maharashtra.

It was people vs power over the last 32 years amidst efforts to define and redefine development, question the iniquitous, unsustainable paradigm and the undemocratic, demonic displacement and deprivation. The movement fought for the landless, and not not just the landowners.  Everyone, including adivasis, stood up beyond caste and creed, tried to pull together the strength and challenged the ruthless system. Huge corruption was exposed through seven years’ inquiry. But the criminals were not punished. Even today, they continue to function as a nexus to try and loot, amidst our effort to prevent and protecting our mass strength.

We exposed the destruction of the riverine and the nature’s life, and not just violations of laws.We challenged illegal sand mines and stopped vehicles, taking the brunt of the attacks.We counted trees which are in thousands in each village, and checked seismological data, backwater levels and archaeological survey reports. Yet, they filled their tables with percentages, mostly 100, as achievements, and didn’t care to see the destruction in the offing.

The minority judge Justice Bharucha’s opinion in the NBA judgement (2000) said it all. The letter to the World Bank President by the Morse Commission concluded in no unclear terms that this dam can’t be completed without using unacceptable means. This was in 1993 when those international experts — a Canadian judge, an American ecologist and a British anthropologist under the leadership of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) vice chairman — concluded that the Bank should withdraw from the Sardar Sarovar Project. The Bank did, but not our own government!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other hand, kept aside all formalities, rejected all legalities, and dictated that the dam should be completed at any cost. His own ministers, Uma  Bharti and Thawar Chand Gehlot from Madhya Pradesh didn’t utter a word or were not allowed to even save people of their own state. Nature is dumb and its mute music is not audible by us, the ordinary humans, anyway.

The river is a human entity, they now say. It is since generations revered as a woman, as mother, by the very people who are being weaned away from it. The new fervour created with the euphoria about the CM and the PM that they are committed to saving Narmada from pollution is a bluff. Nothing has changed in any village or town, which the Yatra passed through. Not one illegal mine has stopped, nor has any liquor shop closed. The Yatra has held large meetings and worshiped Narmada by spending crores. However, it has left behind no solace to the dam oustees.

The Modi government’s and Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s decision to complete the Dam, erect the gates, and push for the closure of gates, to be decided on the 17th at the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) meeting, has been a part of the election game. Only corporates would gain from this. While Chauhan projected himself and chief minister, as the saviours of Narmada in the gathering at Amarkantak on May 15th, in the next few days,the valley will leave behind a new devastation! What a contradiction!

*Narmada Bachao Andolan

 

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Govt wants to close Narmada dam’s gates without complete rehabilitation, submerging thousands

  1. Re: Machhu dam disaster of 1979 in Gujarat – Discussion on a book by Tom Wooten and Utpal Sandesara
    puid-0006BFFD924869B8
    Fri 1/29/2016 6:13 PM
    To:DrRKD Goel ; G.R. Aloria IAS ;
    Cc:Avantika Aulakh IAS Collector Vadodara ; G.R. Aloria IAS Adl.Chief Secretary UD&UH ; P.L. Sharma,joint Secretary,UD&UH ; Mr. JN Singh IAS ; Chintan Desai Secretary VMSS ; Mr. RM Patel City engineer ; Anandiben Patel Chief Minister of Gujarat ;
    29.01.2016 to: –
    Mr. Ganga Ram Aloria IAS. Chief Secretary, Gujarat Government.
    Dear sirs,
    Will you obey now Hon. Gujarat High Court’s Orders dated 02.08.2002 passed in SCA # 10621 of 2000 to remove all illegal encroachments from Water Bodies of Gujarat State?
    Please read the 193 pages reports of manmade Surat 2006 floods as well as floods of Gujarat in 2005.
    WHO WILL COMPENSATION AS YOU FAILED TO CONTROL THE NUISANCE OF Mr. CHNNAM Gandhi from 1994 when you were the GHB Commissioner and also Municipal Commissioner of VMC Vadodara from 1998 to 2001.
    Thanks
    With regards and love,
    Yours truly,
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel
    A sufferer from 1996 till 2016 as you failed to cancel illegal Krishna Duplex Houses on zero margin from TPS 18 roads and also with out mandatory margin from AIR Vadodara, security fencing wall during Kargil war year in 1999. WHY?
    IN 2005 we faced worst floods in Vadodara.
    From: DrRKD Goel
    Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2016 11:15 PM
    To: ipanel@inspectionpanel.org; Dr.R.K.D. Goel
    Subject:
    Machhu dam disaster of 1979 in Gujarat – Discussion on a book by Tom Wooten and Utpal Sandesara
    3
    Amita Bhaduri
    Posted on September 7, 2012 – 18:12
    This article by Amita Bhaduri describes the details of the discussion organised on a new book that spectacularly reconstructs the 1979 Machhu dam disaster in Gujarat A discussion was organised on a new book by Tom Wooten and Utpal Sandesara –
    “No one had a tongue to speak” that spectacularly reconstructs the 1979 Machhu dam disaster in Gujarat, one of history’s worst disasters The meeting was organised by SANDRP at India International Centre, New Delhi on 30th July, 2012. The authors began their work in 2004 and uncovered critical facts that have long remained hidden from the public. They were able to write a complete history of the disaster based on 148 interviews of flood survivors, relief workers and government officials and perusal of thousands of pages of government documents
    The book reveals that the flood resulted from large-scale government design failures rather than from mismanagement by dam workers. The book also reveals how the government of Gujarat quashed a commission of inquiry set up to investigate the disaster so that embarrassing facts would not become public. It also tells the stories of those who lived through the disaster, and have remained neglected for more than thirty years.
    Image courtesy: http://www.tomwooten.com Paul Farmer in the foreword to the book notes that “the topic has generated a varied literature, from the first-person testimonial to scholarly histories, and “No one had a tongue to speak” sits quite comfortably in between these genres
    According to Sandesara, “the dam collapse is one of the worst environmental disasters in history, and no one has heard about it. This book is an attempt to tell the story of a place, a monsoon, the government cover-up that unjustly silenced the narrative for too long, and—most importantly—the people who experienced this incredible suffering, and their resilience.” The present Chief Minister of Gujarat, who had himself volunteered in Morbi after the flood, granted the authors first-time access to classified technical reports and photographs. Wooten analyzing the causes of the floods says “it’s like a bathtub with a clogged drain and the faucet on—eventually water would wash over the top. Unfortunately, the top of this bathtub was made of dirt.”

    Story of Machhu dam disaster of 1979 Morbi Gujarat The book for the first time brings the true causes of the flood into public light. Not many of us know that on August 11, 1979, the four-kilometer long dam (Machhu Dam-II) on the Machhu river in Gujarat collapsed leading to a deluge in the industrial city of Morbi located five kilometers downstream and the surrounding rural areas that destroyed thousands of homes and lives. This devastating flood occurred in the wake of ten days of persistent rainfall when the dam’s floodgates wrongly designed for passage of 220,000 cusecs of water received an inflow of 400,000 cusecs. The earthen dam overtopped and collapsed. Within 20 minutes floods of 12 to 30 ft height inundated the low-lying areas of Morbi town. The book reveals how the dam authorities had been ignoring repeated warnings from the central authorities regarding the calculation of maximum flood.Image courtesy:www.thefloodbook.com

    The final death count is estimated to be between 5,000 and 10,000. The authors note that the collapse was “neither an “act of God”- as the government claimed—nor a failure in management by dam workers—as most citizens of Morbi believe to this day- but rather a severe failure of both engineering and oversight”. The book says that the death toll was phenomenally high because of systematic communication failures.Image courtesy: http://www.thefloodbook.com
    Tragic tale of the Commission of Inquiry

    “No one had a tongue to speak” outlines revelations about government failures before and after the Machhu dam disaster. It details the heartrending account of the independent judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the State Government, which for a year and half investigated into the technical causes of the dam’s failure and on the adequacy of the efforts of the dam authorities to warn people downstream of the imminent danger. It also shows how when the investigation zeroed in on flawed design practices in the Irrigation Department, Mr. Madhavsinh Solanki, the Chief Minister at the time of submission of inquiry report wound up the Commission midway.
    Machhu dam-II was rebuilt in the end of the 1980s. Sandesara in an interview says that “a public interest group sued the government on behalf of the people and won a judgment in the Gujarat High Court, but the Supreme Court overturned the ruling, ensuring that the full lessons of the Machhu dam disaster would not come to public light.”
    Image courtesy: http://www.thefloodbook.com

    Experiences of those who lived the disaster The book through vivid first person accounts exposes the systematic injustices surrounding the flood. People scrambled for rooftops, hilltops, and other safe grounds in order to save themselves. At the Vajepar Ram Mandir, over a hundred people breathed their last when the deluge submerged the temple. Women were compelled to drop their babies into the furious surge in order to save themselves and people lost their loved ones in a flash. The book also presents incredible narratives of survival like that of a “woman, paralyzed from the waist down, who floated above the waves in a wash basin. Mr. Gangaram Tapu, an able-bodied young prisoner at the local jail, swam through the torrent and pulled dozens of people to safety; he would earn a pardon, only to return to jail twenty-five years later.” The heroic effort of volunteers, government officials, and ordinary citizens following the flood is described. The book also deals with the efforts of the then Chief Minister Mr. Babubhai Patel, who along with his cabinet camped at Morbi, in an effort to bring the city back to normal. The book gives an account of the remarkable work done by Mr. A.R. Banerji, the then Rajkot District Collector in coordination of immediate relief work has been detailed. He however lost his position subsequently for writing a damning report about the government’s handling of the flood. This report was not put in the public domain The Machhu Dam disaster offers a cautionary tale regarding the dangers of massive development undertaken without foresight or precaution the authors conclude. For information on the book, see: http://thefloodbook.com
    Share 3
    2012 Join the Conversation
    3 Responses
    Thanks for this excellent blog Himanshu Thakkar Posted 1 year 3 months ago
    Thanks for this excellent blog on this remarkable and only book about India’s biggest ever dam disaster. There is so much we all can learn from that disaster and book provides very useful pointers for the same. The people in this whole drama that lead to building of this non optimal dam and than were also involved in hiding the truth behind the disaster also went on to play key role in the Sardar Sarovar Narmada saga that unfolds before us. In the context of climate change, the lessons from this disaster going to be even more relevant.
    reply
    Public can contact engineer Parimal Desai till November 13
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel Posted 1 year 3 months ago.
    No action taken by the Govt. on this Panal report headed by retired HC Judge R A Mehta, 9-member panel to talk to the public, suggest remedial measures to the govt. NGOs set up panel to get facts on floods of Surat 2006
    Express News Service Surat, October 29 – to study the floods that have affected Gujarat in general and Surat in particular in the past five years, two NGOs have formed a nine-member ‘people’s committee’. The committee will collect information from members of the public and suggest remedial measures to the government. Gujarat Sarvoday Mandal and Narmada Abhiyan, which have taken the initiative to set up the committee, had decided to go for this on August 8. The committee is headed by retired judge R A Mehta of Gujarat High Court. The committee will look into the magnitude of the floods, and if they were caused by any weather change, manual or technical failure, or problems in the flood mitigation process. The committee has on it a former official of the Central Water Commission and also four flood management experts.
    ‘‘We are collecting all related documentations on the recent floods and the flood manuals. We are also collecting public opinion, complaints and experiences about the floods from both rural and urban areas affected by the floods,’’ said veteran journalist Digant Oza, a member of the committee. According to Vidyut Joshi of the pro-Narmada dam organisation, Narmada Abhiyan, six to seven neighbouring districts of Surat were affected by the recent floods but the reasons were different from those in Surat case. ‘‘It is a matter of investigation if the flood manuals are insufficient in controlling the floods or if there is some faulty urban and rural planning. Also the fact that management of dams and flood control, which is the responsibility of irrigation department, will be discussed,’’ said Joshi
    The ‘people’s committee’, as it is termed by the members, is expected to submit an interim report to Justice Sugna Bhatt probe panel in about three months. The State government had set up Bhatt panel to probe into the Surat floods. Later, the committee will submit a report to the Central government and also make the report a public document that will be available for reference
    The committee has engaged engineer Parimal Desai in the study. Desai can be contacted on his mobile number 92279 23434 by any member of the public for giving any information related to floods Such public information can be given to him till November 13.

    Machhu dam disaster of 1979 in Gujarat – Discussion on a book by

    Dr.R.K.D.Goel Posted 1 year 3 months ago.
    In 2005 the Vadodara faced worst flood disaster after Ghodpur floods of 1927. On 1.7.2005 the small breach of Pratappura dam could not be filled by sand gunny bags to prevent the small breach further increase. To save Ajwa Dam the Pratappura dam was finally demolished. This resulted floods in Vdodara with 5 to 10 feet water in houses of Vadodara. Again in 2006 the floods of Surat due to failure of bureaucrats / engineers to take timely action.

    Resulting loss of human lives and property. No one has the tongue to talk about these floods of Gujarat. WHY
    Two inquiry reports with out making any body accountable.
    In India we are living still as slaves and can’t open our mouths for manmade disasters

    While. Hon. Justice Mr. R.A.Mehta gave facts with out much blaming the Government. He could not be appointed Lokayucta of Gujarat due to his findings and lapses of Government.
    We have real democracy in India now
    From 2005 till 2016 the Vadodara having rain water logging each year.

    No one can speak the truth. WHY? nother Portals by Arghyam
    India Water Portal is an Arghyam initiative.

    Copy To: – ————————————————————————————————–

  2. (Please translate in to Gujarati to read) VMC keen on riverfront development corporation for Vishwamitri, Vadodara… http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5680841.cms?prtpage=1
    Times of India Dated TNN, Mar 15, 2010, 10.47 pm IST Sachin Sharma,
    VMC keen on riverfront development corporation for Vishwamitri Sachin Sharma, TNN, Mar 15, 2010, 10.47pm IST VADODARA: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) plans to establish a body for the development of Vishwamitri river on the lines of the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited. The issue has been taken up with the state government and if it gives the nod, the corporation will be set up. The need for such a corporation was felt by the civic body as the work on Vishwamitri requires long-time efforts and would involve different agencies besides the VMC. Presently, the civic body has decided to focus on rejuvenation and resectioning of the river. Efforts are also being made to ensure that the sewage water is not released into the river. Vadodara mayor and MP Balkrishna Shukla said the project is not one that can be taken care of in a short period. “It might take a long time, may be even 20 to 25 years, to develop a riverfront on Vishwamitri. It will be better if we have an entity that takes care of the project consistently irrespective of the changes in the civic body,” Shukla said. Sources said the reason for this thinking is because those at the helm of affairs in the civic body regularly keep changing, but the work on the river has to continue. They added that the actual riverfront may take a long time in shaping up, also in ensuring that the river is free of sewage, there are no slums on its banks and it does not get flooded. Functionaries in the civic body said that a separate entity will also be helpful as it could have representatives from various government departments for better coordination. VMC has to deal with the irrigation department, city survey office and others over the issue. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service VMC keen on riverfront development corporation for Vishwamitri – Vado… http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5680841.cms?prtpage=1 1 of 1 5/10/2010 4:13 PM ——————————————————————————————————————————————————— Comments from Dr.R.K.D.Goel : President of Whistle-Blower of India= 1414-A Akashdeep Soc. Makarpura Rd.Ph: 0265-2647677 Vadodara 390 009. Mail drrkdgoel@hotmail.com Refer Hon. Gujarat High Court’s Orders in SCA # 10621 of 2000 Orders Dated 02.08. 2002 of Water Bodies of the State.Vishwa Mitri River is not free from encroachments and Constructions of big buildings like VUDA in the River bed and other buildings encroaching the Vishwamitri River. It is highly polluted and having more than 500 Crocodiles in the Vishwamitri River and its tributaries Nalla / Kaans etc No permanent water sources. All the buildings within 500 meters of River Banks have to removed first. It is only a brain of a non qualified Mayor now BJP MP of Vadodara only to siphoned public money without any scientific studies and feasibilities / suitability of buildings in flood areas etc. The BJP Politicians built projects only for the money they will earn from wrong projects.
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel.

  3. News | All Headlines

    Nature’s fury? Surat disaster’s man-made

    No food, water or electricity: State’s boom town crippled by administration’s recipe for trouble
    Thursday , August 10, 2006
    N.K. Singh

    Ahmedabad, August 9: WHO is responsible for one of the worst catastrophes faced by Gujarat in recent times? Surat, a town of 30 lakh, is without food, drinking water and electricity for the past three days. The marooned people are taking shelter on rooftops or first floors of apartments. The flooded Tapti has submerged Surat’s business, estimated to contribute Rs 4,500 crore a year in taxes to the State exchequer. Human misery apart, the losses in terms of economic activities are expected to run into billions of rupees.
    The floods have taken the people of Surat by surprise. There was hardly any excessive rainfall in the period preceding the deluge. The level of Tapti started rising on a calm Sunday evening after the Irrigation Department started releasing 8 to 10 lakh cusecs of water from the upstream Ukai dam as against the normal outflow of 6 lakh cusecs. Soon, the swirling Tapti inundated the fastest-growing town of Gujarat. Apparently, officials hadn’t learnt their lesson from the 1998 deluge, when release of only 6.73 lakh cusecs of water had caused the worst-ever flood in a quarter century. If 6.73 lakh cusecs was enough to cause havoc in the diamond city in 1998, one can easily imagine the magnitude of the catastrophe brought in by the release of 50 per cent extra water.

    Apparently, it is not a natural calamity. It is a man-made disaster.
    The Irrigation Department says it was forced to release water in unprecedented quantity because Ukai dam was facing grave danger, having already crossed the full reservoir level of 345 feet. Could not they have released water in a phased manner? Irrigation officials say they were misled by Central Water Commission, which supplied them with unrealistic figures about inflow of water upstream. A miscalculation that cost heavily.
    Floods normally connote nature’s fury. In the present instance, it is man’s foolishness.
    The citizens of Surat are angry and blaming the administration, and rightly so.
    Whatever be the explanation for the present man-made disaster, it is hardly going to amuse the people of Surat, trapped without food, water and electricity for three days.
    Govt made: Vaghela
    UNION Textile Minister Shankersinh Vaghela has said that the Central Government will, in consultation with State Government, carry out a survey of the damage caused to Surat’s textile and diamond industry due to the floods. He has termed the flooding in these areas as government-made. “which could have been avoided by controlled release of Ukai dam waters instead of the last-minute release.”

  4. Intellectuals back Modi’s Silicon Valley visit.
    TNN | Sep 16, 2015, 01.31 AM IST

    NEW DELHI: A group of US-based academics who issued a call to Silicon Valley to boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi are hurting India’s interests as opposing the ‘Digital India’ project amounted to a call for an economic war against India, intellectuals and economists supporting the PM’s visit have said.

    The counter petition said academics who claimed ‘Digital India’ will violate the individual right to privacy had crossed the thin line between hitting out at Modi and hurting India. It was high time the anti-Modi academics were told “enough is enough”, the petition, supported by 124 signatories, said.

    The pro-Modi petition has been signed by intellectuals, scientists, economists including Ficci president Jyotsna Suri, Assocham chief Rana Kapoor, ex-Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission chairman Ashok Gulati, former Samata Party chief Jaya Jaitley, ICHR member Purobi Roy, eminent classical dancer Sonal Mansingh and working and retired professors of premier institutes like IIT-Delhi and Kanpur and Indian and foreign varsities. The petition has been also been launched online.

    They said the ‘Digital India’ programme was an “important mission” that could transform lives of people here and lessons from Modi’s visit to the Valley were crucial in this regard. “E-governance, digitalization have produced dramatic results in curbing corruption. When citizens are yearning for it, US academicians are calling for economic boycott,” they said.

    “We never heard (from them) that Pakistan, which is a mother of terrorism, be boycotted or China, which is conducting human rights abuses in Tibet, be economically boycotted. This is the nth time that this group of intellectuals has crossed the ‘laxman rekha’ between hitting out at Modi and hurting India,” Madhu Kishwar, professor and founder of Manushi said.

    Yes Bank senior vice-president Preeti Sinha, who accompanied Kishwar along with economist Laveesh Bhandari, extended support to the Centre’s programme saying there was no basis to the criticism of ‘Digital India’.

    “So, it is very dastardly for people to protest against his visit. And when the lessons are brought here, it will really help us transom our people’s lives. So, we are fully supporting Modi as he goes forward in his missions of Digital India, Make in India,” Sinha said.

    Bhandari asserted ‘Digital India’ would take people “far far ahead” vis-a-vis telecom revolution and stressed that it was “extremely” critical for all to come together on the issue.

    In another unrelated development, the overseas friends of BJP-USA also condemned a proposed protest by a section of Patels against Modi’s visit. The OFBP-US said a minuscule group of Patels from Edison, New Jersey, was making noises about an ill-advised protest in the contest of the recent reservation demand.

    The OFBP-USA, which has a large number of Patels on its rolls, said over 500 Indian organizations were involved in organizing the grand community reception event in San Francisco. “These organizing groups also include the entire Patel community, Gujarati, Hotel and Motel Owners, Christian and Muslim associations of USA,” they said.
    They appealed to “this small wayward group of Patels to withdraw their ill-advised protest and work with the Indian diaspora in the successful conduct of the community reception”.

    Some 100 US academicians, many of Indian origin, have written to major tech companies warning them against risks of dealing with the Indian government, which they claimed had not instituted safeguards about privacy of information in the campaign and its alleged potential for abuse.

    Countering concerns expressed by US academicians over Modi’s alleged culpability for 2002 Gujarat riots, the Indian group said their views reflected their “scant disregard” for Indian judicial system as the Supreme Court has exonerated the leader of all charges in connection with the episode.

    “We urge academicians to lift the veil of ignorance and grasp the bigger picture. They should stop seeking fame by thriving on misplaced victimhood and false grievances,” they said.

    Kishwar added, “And some of us at least are convinced there are vested interests behind such moves. It is a consistent witch-hunt that has gone on for over a decade and I think it is time we too stood up and say enough is enough.”
    Copy for information’s to: –

  5. FORUM OF WHISTLE – BLOWERS OF INDIA
    President: Dr. R.K.D.Goel, (RTI Act 2005 Activist)
    1414-A, Akashdeep Soc., behind Akaaswani, Makarpura Rd.390 009 Ph: 2647677
    News paper reports
    Name of News paper: Indian Express DATED 23.06.1998
    Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Eviction must be last resort EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE
    VADODARA, June 22: The fact-finding team on rights violation visited some of the slum settlements demolished by the VMC and the Gujarat Housing Board and the relocation sites in the city. The team said a comprehensive participatory urban policy should be formulated giving primacy to right to life, shelter and livelihood.
    Addressing a press conference on Monday, former MP Haroobhai Mehta reiterated that the fundamental rights of the evicted people should not be violated. All evictions must be subject to a rigorous social cost benefit analysis.
    The team which visited 10 demolished sites and relocation sites and met the DC Anil Mukim, Municipal Commissioner Aloria and Commissioner of Police Kuldip Sharma on Sunday and Monday. It recommended that the citizens should have access to master plans, TP Scheme details, civic amenities and infrastructure development in the relocation sites.
    The team suggested that eviction should be the last resort and in the interest of public. Existing slum settlements should be regularised and a census of the slums should be undertaken by the VMC. The VMC should not violate the UN Charter on Project-Affected People to which India is a signatory, the team said.
    Aloria assured the team that the VMC would not demolish slums without providing alternative sites. The Commissioner had agreed to give civic amenities at the relocation sites. He also assured that the VMC would demolish slums only if they cause inconvenience to public. Aloria, the team claimed, had said notice was not a prerequisite for demolishing slums along the roadline. Police Commissioner Sharma told the team that the demolition and the use of force `were not illegal’. Collector said the demolitions were not held on government land during the past two months
    The team comprised former MP and advocate Haroobhai Mehta from Ahmedabad, Rashmi and Qaiser Madni from Mumbai’s Centre for Human Rights and Law, advocates Hina Desai, M.S. Mansuri, members of the PUCL, Sahiyar, Gujarat Forum for Women’s Studies, and Narmada Bachao Andolan. They visited Ganeshnagar, Pratapnagar, Dholikui, GIDC Makarpura, Ambedkar, Chhani Jakatnaka, Chikuwadi areas on Sunday the relocation sites provided in Sayaji Park and Priyanka Gandhinagar, situated in the outskirts of the city ——————————– ————————————————————– 12.10.2011: Copy to Mr. Ashwini Kumar IAS, Mun. Comm., VMSS. To know what action taken by VMC to enlists recognized slums from 1998 in Vadodara —————————————————————————————————- 09.09.2012 REMINDER to Mun. Comm., VMSS with RTI Act 05 application to know the number of existing approved Slums in Vadodara city to be rehabilitated.
    Copy also to: ————————————————————————
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel.: President: Forum of Whistle-Blowers of India. Ph: 0265-2647677.

  6. From: Dr.R.K.D.Goel (drrkdgoel@hotmail.com)
    Sent: 06 September 2011 12:57PM
    To: Ashwini Kumar IAS (vmccomm@gmail.com); Dr.RKD Goel (drrkdgoel@hotmail.com); Vinod Rav IAS (collector-vad@gujarat.gov.in); IP Gautam IAS (securban@gujarat.gov.in); CL Meena IAS (secrev@gujarat.gov.in); Achal Kumar Joti IAS (csguj@gujarat.gov.in); MC Makwana (vmcdymca@gmail.com); Shaliesh Mistry (ce_vmc@yahoo.com); RK Sugoor IFS (vmssdymc@gmail.com)

    1 attachment
    16122006=Report to Justice R.A.Meht on floods of Vadodara.doc (68.5 KB)

    Subject: Thanks for sending your Jamin Milkat Officer Mr. Parnami today on Masia Kans site to close traffic on the illegal road parallel to Kans channel to save lives of children / Students / people / animals after falling in Kans.
    Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 22:40:16 +0530 Dated 06.09.2011 Reminder Dt.01.01.2017
    To : –
    Dear Mr. Ashwini Kumar IAS, Mun. Comm. VMSS Vadodara.

    How I thank you for your quick responses of my requests to you.
    I fought for 16 years from 1996 that rain water carrying capacity in Natural Strom Water Drainages (Kaans) of city should increase 10 times. Two Human Right Activists and learned advocates agreed with me in Hon. Gujarat High Court as well as out side. Late Mr. Haroobhai Mehta visited Vadodara Masia Kaans on 23.6.1998 and was in total agreement with me that the Vadodara people were suffering due to encroachments on Kaans. He never said that the Dholikui Slum dwellers should continue on Masia Kaans.
    Please ask the Collector Vadodara to see that the Masia Kans area is cleared as per his survey of Masia Kans from March 99 to April 99 which is submitted in High Court with 320 people names those occupying GHB land and Kans land. THESE encroachments are NOW REMOVED ON 6.3.2011 BY VMC.
    It looks to me that I have to fight with interested elite people those now encroaching GHB land and all my labor of 15 years may not go waste. Already one shopping centre built in last two year in Masia Kans near SRP, lalbaugh area. Now every year Rain water will logged as no Kans area with linking of ponds are left.
    KUNJ PLAZA building on Rajmahal road is on Kans land due to which whole problem started from 1990.
    Please obtain Masia Kans map from City Survey Officer 4 of Collector Vadodara and see that the Kans area behind my house and GHB Akashganga Society is maintained as per survey in 1999.
    We will now fight with GHB to built security wall on east of Masia Kans behind my house and GHB Akashganga Soc. which is left in 1994 to be built due to agitation of Mr. Chinnam Gandhi. Now the encroachments are removed.
    If Water Bodies of Vadodara are not cleared as per Hon. Gujarat High Court orders dated 18.4.2001 and dated 2.8.2002 of SCA # 10621 of 2000, Vadodara will never be free from Rain water logging problems.
    ALL THE PONDS ON MASIA KANS AREA from Dandia Bazar to GIDC ALREADY FILLED.
    Now Chinnam is out from the scene to put hindrances to move Dholi kui slum dwellers from Masia Kaan.
    Please take this matter as urgent for development of Vadodara.
    Logging of Rain Water is the enemy of roads.
    Thanks.
    Yours truly,

    Dr.R.K.D.Goel
    ——————————————————————-
    Post copy of this mail to: – 1) VMC Vadodara.
    /2) Collector Vadodara
    / 3) GHB commissioner
    / 4) UD & UH deptt. Govt. of Gujarat.
    /5 Revenue deptt. Govt. of Gujarat.
    / 6) Chief Secretary, Govt. of Gujarat.
    Please Read P.T.O. Also.

  7. FORUM OF WHISTLE – BLOWERS OF INDIA
    President: Dr.R.K.D.Goel,-1414-A, Akashdeep Soc., behind Akaswani, Makarpura Rd.390 009 Ph: 2647677
    News Paper-Report
    1. Home Ahmedabad> News Thursday , January 19, 2006
    2. Construction work near flood plains not good: expert
    3. Express News Service

    4. Ahmedabad, January 18: Referring to riverfront development project going on in a full swing in the city, Dr Vandana Shiva, director, Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy, on Wednesday said, ‘‘The construction work near flood plains of any river is not good, even if it is being done for the beautification of Ahmedabad.’’
    5. A nominee for the Noble peace prize 2005, Shiva was speaking to the media at IIM-Ahmedabad before delivering fifth Tirath Gupta Memorial lecture on ‘‘Organic farming: The real green revolution for protecting the earth, farmers’ livelihoods & public health. When asked to comment on the French ship brought to Alang for breaking, she said, ‘‘India and China are fast becoming dumping yards. If we will not adhere to this the western countries will make it as a garbage dumb.’’
    6. Dr Shiva is trained as a physicist and did her PhD on “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory” from the University of Western Ontario. She later moved on to do inter-disciplinary research on science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and IIM-Bangalore.
    7. ‘‘I had never thought of working with farmers and was not interested in reading biology as subject but later I found that these were inter-connected. The environment, agriculture and public health are all linked with each other,’’ she said.
    8. On the subject of her lecture, she said, ‘‘Industrial agriculture is being promoted in spite of its high negative environmental externalities. Organic is the solution for the environment and public health, for farmers’ livelihoods. Organic agriculture does not only produces more food but also results in higher income for farmers.’’
    9. Terming the earlier Green Revolution as neither green nor revolutionary, Shiva said, ‘‘Organic agriculture is the real green revolution.’
    Copy of this expert views to: – ——————————————————–
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel.

  8. Date:01/07/2005 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2005/07/01/stories/2005070105631400.htm
    National

    Army called out to flood-hit Vadodara city Dated:01/07/2005 Special Correspondent
    More than 30,000 people from low-lying areas shifted to safety
    ________________________________________
    Narendra Modi took an aerial survey of some of the affected areas and held a highlevel meeting to streamline rescue and relief measures.
    ________________________________________
    AHMEDABAD: The Army has been called to assist the civilian authorities in Vadodara city to evacuate people from low-lying areas engulfed in floodwaters caused by a heavy downpour since Wednesday night.
    The weather office reported more than 350 mm of rainfall in Vadodara city and district in the last 24 hours. Due to continuous heavy rainfall in the catchment areas in the neighbouring Panchamahals district, the Ajwa and Pratapura dams overflowed forcing the authorities to open all the gates causing flash floods in the Vishwamitri that flows through the city.
    The Vadodara district Collector, Rajiv Topno, said more than 30,000 people had been shifted to safer places in the city. Elsewhere in the State, more than a lakh people were evacuated to safety. Rainwater has entered a number of houses in low-lying areas where power supply has been discontinued. The authorities ordered schools and colleges in the city to be closed till Sunday while many private offices were also closed on Thursday.
    Chief Minister Narendra Modi took an aerial survey of some of the affected areas, including Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surendranagar and Bhavnagar districts despite the inclement weather. He later held a high-level meeting in Gandhinagar to streamline rescue and relief measures. He said the Government would seek special assistance from the Centre for repairing roads and other infrastructure facilities damaged in the rain and floods.
    Besides Vadodara, many parts of Surat city and Anand towns also remained under water. One Army column has been kept on standby in Surat while another column is stationed in Rajkot for rescue operations. Police and fire brigade personnel with boats and other equipment were engaged in rescuing stranded people in Surendranagar, Surat, Anand and other centres.
    Rail and road traffic in the State was hit due to the heavy downpour. Many of the highways were closed. Even the newly-commissioned Ahmedabad-Vadodara Express was put out of service. Most of the trains from Ahmedabad to Mumbai were cancelled or re-routed as rainwater flooded the tracks near Anand and Vadodara. With the Vadodara airport closed, two planes from Mumbai were diverted to the Ahmedabad airport.
    The toll in the rain and floods has reached 51. At least three deaths were reported from Vadodara on Thursday while two persons were killed in Surendranagar district, an official spokesman said.
    Copy to: – ————————————————————————————————— © Copyright 2000 – 2009 The Hindu

  9. Print this article

    Gujarat flood relief inadequate: Sonia
    Ju ly 04, 2005 22:55 IST
    Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Monday that there were complaints of inadequate flood relief in Gujarat and asked the state government to pay cash doles for 15 days and speed up rehabilitation in affected areas.
    “I have been receiving complaints that cash doles are not being given. The state government should ensure that money reaches the people,” Sonia said as she undertook a whirlwind tour of Vadodara, the worst hit area in the recent rain-induced floods.
    Sonia was on a day-long tour of flood-hit Gujarat.
    The United Progressive Alliance chairperson visited relief camps and slum areas along the swollen Vishwamitri river, stopping at several places to interact with the flood victims.
    A major portion of the relief package would be spent on rebuilding houses of slum dwellers that were washed way in the floods, she said.
    Sonia and defence minister Pranab Mukherjee undertook an aerial survey of Vadodara, Anand, Kheda and Ahmedabad districts to have a first-hand account of the flood situation.
    Expressing his dissatisfaction over relief and rehabilitation work, he told reporters in Ahmedabad that “help has not reached many parts of the state.
    “Even the assessment of damage has not been done as several areas are still cut-off,” he said.
    Asked whether he blamed the state government for the delay, Mukherjee said “I am not here to make a value judgement. Villages are marooned and many areas are still inaccessible.”
    “No doubt the magnitude of destruction is huge and unprecedented. Three-fourths of the land in the state has been affected. We wanted to land in some villages but could not do so as conditions were not suitable,” he said.
    The armed forces were dropping food packets in marooned villages and arrangements were also being made to provide cooked food to those affected, Mukherjee said.
    In Ahmedabad, Gujarat law minister Ashok Bhatt briefed Mukherjee and Sonia on the situation. State revenue minister Kaushik Patel thanked the Centre for sanctioning an immediate relief package of Rs 500 crore and lauded the armed forces for their swift help.
    The air force dropped 130 tonnes of food in the flood-hit regions and 12 helicopters are doing sorties to rescue stranded people, official sources said.
    The state government has also deployed 500 medical teams in affected areas and steps are being taken to prevent spread of epidemic, they said.
    © Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

  10. Printed from

    Vadodara sees a rerun of 2005 floods TNN | Sep 26, 2013, 05.24 PM IST
    VADODARA: As water level in river Vishwamitri that passes from the heart of the city swelled on Tuesday night, the administration stepped up evacuation process and also sounded alert in some areas.
    Vishwamitri was flowing at 28 feet – two feet above the danger mark – all day. The Kalaghoda Bridge – the busiest bridge – was closed to traffic on Wednesday evening after water levels reached 29 feet.
    The authorities were mulling to close down all the bridges passing over Vishwamitri on Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure if the water level increases further. But, only Mangal Pandey Bridge near Fatehgunj was closed down to traffic in afternoon. “We have closed the Kalaghoda Bridge as a precautionary measure, but other bridges are still functioning. Depending on the situation, we will take decisions on other bridges,” C M Makwana, director (projects), Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), said.
    Also, police was deployed at Kalaghoda Circle Bridge, Bhimnath Bridge and Fatehgunj-Karelibaug Bridge to keep curious onlookers at bay. There was no respite for people as the city received mild to heavy rainfalls throughout the day. According to authorities, the city areas received two inches of rain on Wednesday and heavy rainfall is predicted for next 24 hours. A total of 3,000 persons have been shifted to safety from low-lying areas near Vishwamitri in last 48 hours.
    Several residential colonies on Waghodia Road in eastern area were under water on Wednesday. The residents of Kanha Residency, Vrundavan Society, Nilambar Bungalows and Tirth Bungalows were marooned in their homes due to heavy water logging. “We have not been able to move out of our homes for last two days to get basic supply of milk and vegetables. No one has even turned up to help us,” resident of Tirth Bungalows Vrunda Bhatt said.
    Residents of Anjali Residency in Maneja, too, were stranded in their homes due to water logging around their area. While most main roads in western areas were functioning normally, the Alkapuri and Jetalpur underpass remained close on Wednesday as well due to water logging. Stay updated on the go with the Times of India’s mobile apps. Click here to download it for your device.
    Copy to Municipal Commissioner VMSS Vadodara with a RTI Act 2005 application to know what action is taken by the VMSS from 2005 so that floods may not occur in Vadodara?

    Dr.R.K.D.Goel. President Forum of Whistle Blowers of India. 1414-A, GHB Akashdeep Soc. B/H Akaswani, Makarpura Road – 290 009. Ph: 265-2647677, E.mai;drrkdgoel@hotmail.com,rkdgoel@aol.com.
    Also refer report and recommendations of People’s Committee of Surat 2006 and Vadodara floods of 2005 Chaired by Retd, High Court Justice Mr. R.A.Mehta from 2007 till 2014 with JnNURUM money for Storm Drain Water Projects spend in Vadodara?

    RTI Act 2005 application attached.
    Printed from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s