| NBA Press Release
|| 07 August 2006
NARMADA WATERS REACH OVER 127 mts.: SATYAGRAHA LAUNCHED AT TWO MORE VILLAGES; 120 CHILDREN ARRESTED
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
The swirling waters of Narmada have increased up to 127 meters on Monday and submerged almost all the villages of Maharashtra along with the two Jeevan shalas in Manibeli and Danel, as torrential rains lashed the entire Western India. Despite the large scale destruction and submergence the people in the Narmada valley remained steadfast in their resolve to resist the imposition of unjust displacement.
Over 120 stranded children from the Jeevan Shalas and their teachers took hold of the Police barge on August 6. When the police arrested them and took dam site, they took out the march against the displacement and the dam in Gujarat. They all were brought to Akkalkua.
Meanwhile, after the Satyagraha in Rajghat, the main activists and the supporters went to Bhitada overcoming the rains, slush and increasing dam waters. After the Satyagraha of Bhitada was launched on August 6, activists including Medha Patkar went to Chimalkhedi. Narmada was swollen and became too wide due to heavy rains and the 122 meters of the dam. The huge mountains are half under the water. It was an awesome, horrifying face of Nature. The situation is extremely grave."
Additionally, all roads leading towards the valley are blocked due to the heavy downpour. Apart from the cutting off the mountain routes, the waters have blocked the entry from Dhadgaon, from Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat to the villages affected by the Sardar Sarovar dam. The only barge belonged to the Maharashtra police and they proved rather hesitant and did not help the people.
In the rehabilitation sites in Gujarat also, almost in all the resettlement villages were inundated all the fields and destroying crops. In many sites such as Karnete, Thuvavi, etc water has entered into the houses! In Maharashtra the waters entered in the houses in Vadchhil and Javda and the one nullah burst destroying the houses and sown fields.
Keshav Vasave from Maharashtra pointed out that not only the Madhya Pradesh government, but Maharashtra government too failed to provide any decent and legal resettlement to the tribal oustees in the state." There are no basic services like drinking water, fodder, fuel, cultivable land, protection from rains in these places. We are cheated and live a life of a destitute".
In such situation, the fate of over 30,000 families in Madhya Pradesh cannot be imagined. In Rajghat, on the second day of Satyagraha, the people decried the deliberate tactics by the Prime Minister's office and other bureaucrats to illegally increase the height of the dam and impose the submergence over 1,00,000 people during this monsoon.
Prof. Shyam Patil