Save The Narmada, Save Humanity! NBA Press Release                                                                                 August 8, 2000

B-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park, Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-382232 baroda@narmada.org

58, Gandhi Marg, Badwani, M.P.
Tel: 07290-22464

Pune Contact: Sanjay Sangvai, Ph.5450870 (sanjay@narmada.org)

Maharashtra Govt. Must Come Clean About Cost-Benefits of SSP to the State
ARTISTS, INTELLECTUALS DEMAND DIALOGUE AND REVIEW ON NARMADA ISSUE

Several prominent persons from various walks of life in Maharashtra, including veteran actor Dr. Shriram Lagoo, human right activist Dr. Satyaranjan Sathe, journalist-activists like Ms. Vidya Bal, Vasant Palshikar, Sada Dumbaray, filmmaker Anand Patwardhan have appealed the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to initiate a dialogue with the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and have a comprehensive review of the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) in Narmada valley in the interest of the state and its people.

Issuing a statement from Pune, on August 6, the World Peace Day, hundreds of citizens in Pune and Maharashtra expressed solidarity with the ongoing Satyagraha which was launched on July 15, against the "unjust and illegal submergence and displacement" due to the dam. The Satyagraha is continuing in village Domkhedi (Dist. Nandurbar, Mah) and Jalsindhi (M.P.) on the banks of Narmada. Representatives of various organisations also joined making this plea to the Government of Maharashtra. They include Ms. Shobha Bhagwat, Sarita Padki, Raja Badhe (writers, educationists), Sada Dumbaray (Journalist), Dr.Anant Phadke of People's Science Movement, Madhukar Deshpande (Vidnyan Vahini), R.P. Nene (PUCL), Arvind Adarkar (Girangaon Bachao Andolan), S.M. Morankar (Maharashtra Manav Vidnyan Parishad), Abhay Karde ( Satyashodh), Ms. Geetali V.M.of Nari Samata Manch, Mukund S.N. of Purush Uwach group, Dr. Sanjay Dabhade of Adivasi Students' Union, apart from large number of students, teachers, housewives and social-political activists. They also demanded that the state government must be transparent and put forth the realities regarding the cost-benefit of this project for the nation and for our state, along with the realities of the extent and magnitude of displacement, land availability for the people of the state. They objected to the fact that the state government officials are trying to displace in piecemeal the people under the threat of submergence instead of addressing the basic issues raised by NBA squarely. Taking umbrage to the state government has been filing the false affidavits regarding the resettlement in the Supreme Court and being instrumental in raising the height of the dam and thus bringing in more submergence and misery to the people, they doubted the claims of benefits by the dam for Maharashtra and even to the drought affected regions of Gujarat. They called the state government to "If the government wishes to save the people, instead of a facade of a police action, it should stop conniving for bringing in the submergence and review the project stopping all the work on it. It is in the interest of the state, its people and the nation that SSP should be reviewed in all aspects, with the participation of the people's organisation."

Sanjay Sangvai