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

NCA Officials Admit failure in Rehabilitation
Agreed to Hold Public Hearing in the Valley

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-282232
Email: baroda@narmada.org

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464
Email: badwani@narmada.org

Senior officials of Narmada Control Authority (NCA) have admitted that the rehabilitation of the people who are falling under the already constructed dam (90 m + 3 m humps = 93 m) is not yet over. They also agreed to hold public hearings in the tribal villages on the status of rehabilitation, issue of land rights and the inadequacies of the rehabilitation policy, in the coming days.

This was revealed at the office of NCA (Indore), when over 600 men and women from the tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, and the farmers of Nimad (Madhya Pradesh) confronted them on the 6th of August with questions pertaining to the rehabilitation and other issues.

When the people asked officials including Shri.N.D.Tiwari [Member (Environment and Rehabilitation) - NCA] and Shri.Afroz Ahmed (Director, Rehabilitation NCA) whether land is available for the ones who are getting affected at 93 mts, and whether their rehabilitation is over, the answer was a big NO. They also admitted that in the original village as well as in rehabilitation sites, like in Maharashtra, there are many without agricultural land, even after their shifting many years ago. Some got half of the promised land, while some others got bad land, and in many cases major sons were left out. While the officials of Maharashtra claimed that they will buy 200 ha. land for rehabilitation, the Madhya Pradesh, (with maximum displacement 35716 families) has identified only 177 ha (that too in pieces), which they set aside from the sericulture farms of the Government.

The officials made it clear once again, that NCA has never given any permission to construct the dam above 88 mts something which the Supreme Court has claimed to have been done by NCA, when they allowed the dam to go till 90 mts, in October 2000.

People also demanded that there should be a truthful survey of the people getting affected, in the context of the failure of Government to give land rights to the tribals. They made it clear that the assumption that over 14,000 families from Madhya Pradesh will opt for rehabilitation in Gujarat is not based on any survey and that has to be done properly.

The people reiterated that when there is not even a correct estimate of people who will get affected at 93 mts, when the availability of agricultural land is a distant possibility, they will not move out of their houses when the flood comes.

People returned to the Satyagraha centres, after the 7 hour long confrontation, declaring that when the fact is crystal clear that the rehabilitation of the already affected is far from over and when there is hardly any preparation to take care of the ones affected at higher levels of the dam, any more construction will be in total violation of the Award, state policies and stipulations of the Court. It will also amount to Contempt of Court, they added.

Medha Patkar
Clifton D'Rozario
Jitendra Patidar
Kesav Vasave