NBA Press Release
  26 April 2006
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

POL-KHOL YATRA LAUNCHED FROM INDORE: NIMAD EXPOSES CLAIMS OF RESETTLEMENT, BENEFITS ;PEOPLE APPEAL TO SAVE FERTILE LAND

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-222464
Email: badwani[at]narmada.org

Hundreds of villagers, along with the supporters from many parts of India have launched the Pol-khol Yatra (Expose` March), on Tuesday, April 25, to highlight the enormous incongruity between the government's claims regarding the displacement and resettlement, the benefits and costs of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

Along with the representatives of scores of organizations from all over India, prominent persons including Social activists Sandip Pandey, peasant leader Dr. Sunilam, educationist Dr. Anil Sadgopal have along with Medha Patkar and Mohanbhai, Rayjibhai of Narmada Bachao Andolan waved the blue Narmada launching of Yatra in the morning from Indore. Activists of the organizations from various places from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, U.P. and from Gujarat are participating in the Yatra.

While launching the Yatra, Medha Patkar reproached the government about its stance on the rights of tribals and farmers and their livelihood. She wondered, " though over 10,000 families affected by the SSP have been given land-based resettlement due to the NBA's struggle during the last 30 years ^ึ the largest ever resettlement with land in Independent India ^ึthere are about 40,000 families still remaining to be resettled. And the Central government had claimed to resettle them all within three months!"

She reminded that the submergence in the valley due to the height of 122 meters would destroy the homes, fertile farms and livelihoods of over 35,000 families of the most ancient human settlement in Asia, and will damage to the letter and spirit of law, Constitution and the humanity.

The Madhya Pradesh MLA and farmer leader, Dr. Sunilam castigated the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister of sacrificing the lives of peasants from his own state for the sake of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's interests. Dr. Sadgopal pointed out that NBA is not only a struggle for resettlement, but for the true development. Bhagwanhbai, the proud farmer from Nimad, made a moving appeal to the nation to save their villages, fertile lands and the valley, which he claimed, were also parts of this nation. Rayjibhai, displaced FROM Gadher in Gujarat to the resettlement site Parveta in Gujarat, told that the Gujarat government has been treating the oustees of their own state like dirt. "Sardar Sarovar might be life-line of politicians and bureaucrats but it is a death noose for the oustees", he said. Gujarat organizations too are participating in the Yatra.

In the evening, the Yatra reached Khalghat, where hundreds of villagers welcomed and showed the participants the evidences of the fraudulent claims of resettlement by the Government of M.P. The Yatra went through the fertile tracts of Chhota Barda and Pipri and the affectionate welcome from the peasants of this nation. That was the first stay of the Yatra.

Sanjay Sangvai
Rakesh Dewan
Ashish Mandloi