NBA Press Release
  07 August 2001
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Government of Maharashtra appoints Committee to Review Benefits

B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Tel: 0265-282232

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464

Government of Maharashtra has appointed another Independent Committee to review the benefits from the controversial Sardar Sarovar Project to Maharashtra state. The Committee is headed by the former Industry Secretary, Shri.A.P.Bhave. The members are: m/s G.J.Wagh (ex-Chief Engineer), Girish Sant (energy expert), Suhas Paranjpye (water and energy expert), Pradyumna Kaul (Financial expert) and D.P.Shirke (Member Secretary).

The Committee will review the irrigation and power benefits from Sardar Sarovar Project to Maharashtra its reliability, magnitude and costs.

One may remember that in January this year, few hundreds of people sat on a dharna at Mumbai, asking for the appointment of two committees one to look into ground reality of rehabilitation and another to look into the benefits from SSP. The first committee was appointed under the charimanship of Jst.S.M.Daud (Retd) in February this year and the Committee submitted the report on June 29th, 2001. The Committee has once again brought out the serious and basic defects in rehabilitation and resettlement processes. Its recommendations include, "In any case we would like to bring to the Government's notice its responsibility to see that it does not accept any proposal to raise the height of the dam beyond its existing height of 90 (ninety) meters unless the obligations laid down by the Tribunal Award and Supreme Court are fulfilled as a whole in regard to those PAFs affected at 90m and yet to be resettled".

At a time when the performances of different projects, including power projects are under scrutiny and the corruption and non-viability is exposed through review processes, this step of the Government of Maharashtra to review the benefits (mainly power) of SSP is timely and appropriate. NBA welcomes this decision. The lives of thousands of tribals and thousands of hectares of forests cannot be put at stake, without proper assessment of the social, environmental and financial costs involved.

Joe Athialy