NBA Press Release
  25 February 2003
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Serious Bungling in Rehabilitation of SSP Adivasi Oustees Brought to Light

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

The dharna of adivasi oustees of the Sardar Sarovar Project at Alirajpur entered its fifth day today. The matter took a new turn today, when senior officials of the NVDA, Indore refused in writing to answer several questions regarding rehabilitation collectively raised by the oustees' organisation, the Narmada Bachao Andolan. The district administration also continues stone-walling the oustees demands for information and clarification despite the Collector's earlier promise to come to Alirajpur to talk to the oustees. The outraged oustees have described this refusal by the NVDA as unconstitutional and point out that the Indian Constitution guarantees them the right to organise for their just demands. The oustees have also written to the Governor of Madhya Pradesh to intervene in this matter in his constitutional capacity (Under the 5th Schedule as the custodian of adivasi rights in the state).

Meanwhile, fresh instances of the NVDA's bungling and district administration's carelessness and apathy continue to come to light everyday. The land acquisition award for this area was passed several years ago, but the oustee lists have not been updated. Jhetriya Kotwal's father's name continues to be on the oustee list even though he died 25 years ago. Adliya Dhenkliya also died several years ago, but his name continues to be on the list, while the names of his four sons, Bhavniya, Makhna, Sobanya and Jagliya are missing. The names of Sildaria and his sons is also missing. Due to their names not being entered in the list of oustees, they and several other adivasis are being denied rehabilitation.

As a result of such bungling by the NVDA and the district administration, the future of hundreds of adivasi families stand in serious jeopardy. Even for such a simple demand as the rectification of such glaring and obvious mistakes, hundreds of adivasis have been forced to sit on dharna at Alirajpur for the past several days, proving once again, the complete insensitivity and apathy of the administration towards the plight of displaced adivasis.

Vanya Sulya
Shashank Kela