| NBA Press Release
|| 06 February 2002
Eminent Persons Intervene in the Matter of Narmada Dam
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Expressing shock and concern over the upcoming meetings to decide upon the height of Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Dam, a few eminent persons have written to the Prime Minister today (6.2.2002). This include, Shri Kuldip Nayyar M.P., Adv. Shanti Bhushan, former Law Minister, Shri Surendra Mohan, former M.P., Smt Mohini Giri, former Chairwoman - National Commission for Women, Admiral (Retd) Ramdas, Jst (Retd) Rajinder Sacchar and Swami Agnivesh. Meanwhile, NBA has issued legal notice to the concerned authorities for failing to implement the Award in resettling the affected adivasis and farmers and for having violated the Supreme Court judgement.
In a letter they have stated that any further construction "^┼would thus entail an enormous violation of the human rights of the oustees and would also violate the orders of the Supreme Court^┼". They have also brought to the notice of the PM that there are hundreds of oustees affected at the present dam height without having been resettled. Giving details of the dismal possibility of resettlement they have stated: "In fact the M.P. government has expressed its helplessness in giving land for land and has sought a modification of the award to do away with the provision of land for land. Such a modification of the award would not only be violative of the human rights of the oustees, it would also undercut the basis on which the Supreme Court had permitted the construction of the Dam."
Reacting to the intervention of the PM they added that "^┼we found it quite surprising and shocking to read that you are reported to have directed that the Dam should be taken to a height of 100 M by June 2002. Perhaps you were not properly briefed by the officials concerned. We would therefore request you to reconsider your decision and issue corrective instructions, lest your authority be used to perpetrate a grave wrong and a serious violation of the Narmada Tribunal's Award and the human rights of the oustees".
Legal Notice to R&R Sub Group
NBA has issued legal notices to the Resettlement sub-group of the Narmada Control Authority for dereliction of duty in having failed to ensure proper resettlement of affected families to date. The notice also warns the Resettlement Sub-group from sanctioning any further construction as this would imply the violation of the resettlement laws governing the project i.e. as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award and also constitute contempt of Supreme Court directives in the Narmada case.
As of today more than 3216 families affected at the present height of the dam (90m) remain without any resettlement. At 100m a further 3589 (official figures) would be affected without having been resettlement. It must be remembered that as per the provisions in the NWDTA and upheld by the Supreme Court resettlement MUST precede any construction and that under no circumstances can the properties of affected people be submerged without having being resettled. The Resettlement Sub-group is scheduled to meet on the 8th of February to review the resettlement at various levels of the SSP.
People in the valley will never allow this injustice to happen.Clifton D'Rozario