NBA Press Note

April 20, 2001

Save The Narmada, Save Humanity! NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Tel: 0265-282232
58, Gandhi Marg,
Badwani, Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07290-22464

R&R sub-group meeting defers further construction on the dam
Representatives dharna at Delhi to 'remind' them that rehabilitation is not done
Secretary to the Ministry of Tribal Welfare urged to visit the Sardar Sarovar submergence area;
Asked to take stern action on the officials involved in the Dewas killings

Taking into consideration the objections raised by Narmada Bachao Andolan, the Rehabilitation and Resettlement sub-group of Narmada Control Authority appears to have deferred any further construction on the dam. This is despite sustained pressure from the party states to increase the height of the dam, irrespective of their poor record of rehabilitation. The NBA has time and again pointed out that thousands of families are still to be rehabilitated, who have been affected by the already-constructed dam.

The sub-group has given time till May 15th for the concerned party states to verify the list of people, submitted by NBA, who have not been rehabilitation and who will get affected this monsoon, at 90 mts, the dam height approved by the Supreme Court.

Earlier during the day, over 300 tribals and peasants of Narmada Valley reached Delhi and sat on a peaceful dharna in front of the MoSJ&E to 'remind' the concerned officials that their rehabilitation is not done and they are left with no option but to face the rising waters. They represented the villages which are sure to face submergence this year, and whose rehabilitation is not yet done.

The decision of the R&R sub-group meeting was conveyed by its Chairperson, Smt.Asha Das to a team of NBA consisting of Luvariyabhai (Pipalchop village), Noorjibhai (Danel, Maharashtra), Nattubhai (Tukheda, Gujarat), and Medha Patkar.

Secretary to the Ministry of Tribal Welfare was met by a delegation of NBA and representatives who came from Dewas (Madhya Pradesh), where the police brutally gunned down 4 tribals in Mehandikheda. The Secretary, Shri.S.K.Nayak was urged to take stern action against the Superintendent of Police, the District Collector and the District Forest Officer, who together ordered the bloody massacre. He was also asked to visit the area and see the reality for himself.

Shri.Nayak was also asked to visit the Narmada Valley to feel the reality there and see for himself the thousands of tribal families who are left to be rehabilitated and the plight of ones who are already shifted to rehabilitation sites. Considering the urgency, he has been asked to do it in the next one month.

The Commissioner of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Shri.Duleep Singh Bhuria will be met by a delegation of NBA to impress upon him the current situation in the Valley.

Representatives of Adivasi Morcha Sangathan, Adivasi Mukti Sangathan and other organisations working among the tribals of Dewas participated in the dharna during the day.

Nishant Natya Manch, a powerful theatre group, performed a series of plays during the day portraying the plight of oustees and tribals.

Joe Athialy (Camp: Delhi)
Ph: 91-11-2250632, 91-11-2256394