NBA Press Release
  02 August 2008
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

'Jal Satyagraha' in Narmada Valley: Oustees are ready to face inhuman and unconstitutional submergence

2, Sai nagar, Mata Chowk,
Khandwa,
Madhya Pradesh
Tel/FAX: 0733-2228418, 9425394606, 9425928007
Email: nobigdams[at]sancharnet.in

Jal Satyagrah in Upper Beda from 3rd August and in Indira Sagar from 15th August

The people affected by the Indira Sagar and Upper Beda Projects in Narmada Valley have announced Jal Satyagrah against the coming submergence in different parts of the valley. It maybe noted that Indira Sagar Project has the largest reservoir in India and second largest in Asia. Upper Beda is a major project to be built on the river Beda, a tributary of river Narmada. Satyagrah will commence in village Sonud of Upper Beda Project and villages Donglighat, Gahelgaon and Surlai of Indira Sagar Project, against the inhuman and unconstitutional submergence of lands and homes without rehabilitation. The villagers challenge the Government and the project authority NHDC that they are prepared to face the submergence and will drown if need be, but not flee.

SATYAGRAH IN UPPER BEDA PROJECT FROM 3rd AUGUST

It is to be noted that land and homes in many villages are being submerged without any prior acquisition and rehabilitation in flagrant violation of the Rehabilitation Policy of the dams being built in Narmada Valley. 14 tribal and banjara villages of Upper Beda Project are in submergence. In spite of the fact that rehabilitation policy of the Government of Madhya Pradesh and clearance from Ministry of Welfare requires that landholders, encroachers, adult sons and landless be provided agricultural land, not a single family has been provided land. Not even one rehabilitation site has been prepared or provided to any oustee, yet submergence is slated within a few days of this very monsoon. After the increase of height of the dam to 305 meter this year, there is every possibility of submergence of backwater level up to 312 meters. On one hand the villages Sonud, Khamid etc getting affected at this height are not rehabilitated and on the other, land acquisition of 115 families of village Palda has not yet been commenced.

The 'Jal Satyagrah' will start in village Sonud of this affected area from 3rd August. People will participate from all over to show solidarity with tribals who are cruelly and callously been fraught to be flooded out from their homes and land without rehabilitation by State Government.

SATYAGRAH TO COMMENCE IN 3 DISTRICTS OF INDIRA SAGAR PROJECT

It may be pointed out that thousands of families of Indira Sagar Project are yet to be rehabilitated and entitlements, even decided by High Court, are yet to be provided by Government. 'Jal Satyagrah' is declared in 3 places of districts Harda, Khandwa and Dewas of the affected area.

SATYAGRAH WILL COMMENCE IN VILLAGE DONGLIGHAT OF DISTRICT HARDA ON 15th AUGUST

It may be noted that houses of 80 families of Donglighat phaliya of villages of Pachola and Jhalwa faced submergence last monsoon itself and district administration even paid damages for this. However even till today they have not been identified as affected families and are being denied their legitimate house compensation and other R & R entitlements. The 'Jal Satyagrah' will be started in Donglighat on 15th August, the Independence Day.

SATYAGRAH WILL COMMENCE IN VILLAGE GAHELGAON OF DISTRICT KHANDWA ON 16th AUGUST

It may be pointed out that 187 families residing in 130 houses of Gahelgaon village of district Khandwa were excluded even after survey, even though water had approached close to their houses last year itself. They will be submerged if water level rises any further. The 'Jal Satyagrah' will be started in Gahelgaon on 16th August.

SATYAGRAH WILL COMMENCE IN VILLAGE SURLAI OF DISTRICT DEWAS ON 17th AUGUST

It may be noted that over 100 houses of affected village Surlai of Indira Sagar Project are arbitrarily excluded. Satyagrah will start from 17th August in this village.

Hundreds of houses of affected areas of Indira Sagar Project are excluded and thousands are yet to be rehabilitated. The people of Narmada Valley have taken the resolve of Satyagrah against this injustice and willful and deliberate failure of State and NHDC to rehabilitate the villagers before submergence.

PREVIOUS SATYAGRAHS

It may be mentioned that in last two years people had to undertake Satyagrah in Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar areas against the unconstitutional submergence by the State Government and NHDC. Last year people of village Gunjari of Omkareshwar Project stood in water for 8 days. Similarly in 2006, women of village Karanpura and Junapani of Indira Sagar Project continuously stood in water reaching up to their shoulders for 10 days.

NO SUBMERGANCE BEFORE REHABILITATION

All the affected and eligible farmers of Narmada Valley demand firmly that they should be provided land for land and other rehabilitation entitlements according to the Rehabilitation Policy, various clearances from Government of India and orders of High Court and Supreme Court. It is clear that only after that it may be permitted to fill the reservoirs. The people have vowed to face the submergence to be brought by State and NHDC which is based on force, falsehood and fraud. The oustees of the Narmada Valley and representatives of many organizations and other noted persons from state and nation will take part in these Satyagrahs with the steely determination to face the rising waters.

NBA calls on all people's organizations, women organizations, tribal and village organizations, youth and student organizations and other concerned individuals from all walks of life to show solidarity in this endeavor, to support and strengthen the struggle, and be with us in this hour of need.

It may be noted that on 10th and 11th of July, thousands of people of Maheshwar, Maan, Beda, Omkareshwar, Indira Sagar and Bargi projects marched in Bhopal and warned the Government and project authorities that they will intensify their struggle if their legitimate demands are not met. Now in this phase through Satyagrah they are bringing the struggle to a stage of do or die.

Alok Agarwal, Chittaroopa Palit, Daluji, Kanhaiyalalji, Mangilalbhai, Raisingh bhai, Ramkuar Rawat, Bhagwanbhai