NBA Press Release
  02 February 2005
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Tribal Families Dumped in Open Sans Land and Houses at Javda :
Maharashtra Govt. Claims "Resettlement Complete" !

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

All the claims about just rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar affected families in the Narmada valley were once again exposed when the Nandurbar district administration dumped eleven tribal families displaced from Bharad village under open sky without even the sheds in the resettlement site of Javda, in Maharashtra. These families were affected when the dam height went upto 80 meters in 1994 and are yet to be provided cultivable land, houseplots and resettlement village, despite the series of protests and subsequent assurances by the concerned Ministers and resolutions by the state Cabinet.

The families are there in open facing the extreme cold and vagaries of Nature, along with their children, clothes, foodgrains, utensils, cots and other material. We demand that the state government should immediately act to provide land and houses and take strict action against the guilty officials.

Even after repeated Supreme Court directions, protest, dharnas and fasts in Nashik, Mumbai, Shahada and the formal cabinet decisions and GRs by the state government, the Nandurbar district authorities have been delaying the just rehabilitation process - i.e. the purchasing of cultivable land and building the resettlement village - for some inexplicable reasons. In 2004, the people resorted to Land-Right Satyagraha in April-May and in the monsoon of 2004 the people resorted to dharna in Shahada. Subsequently the affected families and officials jointly surveyed the land and had selected the Javda land. However, the Nandurbar officials did not purchase the land, despite the fact that many farmers were ready to sell their land and despite repeated demands by the affected people- perhaps due to the coruption and delaying tactics.

Only in October 2004, after the Bharad and other villages on the banks of Narmada were again submerged in the monsoon of 2004, was the land purchased. But despite the two full agricultural seasons that have passed, there is still no sign of transferring that land to the families or preparing resettlement village, complete with the houses and amenities. The Nandurbar administration did not build even the temporary sheds in the Javda land, and has now dumped 11 families from Bharad, to fend for themselves.

The Narmada Control Authority had claimed on its website that all the resettlement in the SSP was complete. It should pull out the announcement after the NBA had exposed the false claims. However, the Maharashtra administration claims that it had "completed the resettlement of all Maharashtra oustees". But about 2500 families in Maharashtra are in still the original villages on the Narmada banks in the submergence zone and remain to be resettled with cultivable land, houses and resettlement village with all amenities, as per the stipulations of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal and the Supreme Court directions. Even hundreds of the "resettled" families from 1994-2000, in the resettlement sites in Maharashtra, remain without land and houseplots.

This is the state of the resettlement and all the state governments are bent on trampling upon the rights of the affected people to raise the height of the dam further than the present 110.64 meters. The people and the Narmada Bachao Andolan would resist firmly any attempt to destroy life, violate the rights and law by the dam-builders and their cohorts.

Noorji Padvi
Yogini Khanaolkar
Philip Matthew