| NBA Press Release
|| 17 January 2002
More than thousand Sardar Sarovar affected people stage dharna at Narmada Control Authority (NCA) office in Indore
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Today more than a thousand adivasis, farmers, peasants men and women† affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) picketed the Narmada Control Authority(NCA) office in Indore. The people have come here with the sole intention of demanding answers and explanations regarding the various issues related to displacement and resettlement. In subsequent discussions held in front of all the people NCA officials admitted that the status of resettlement of 90 m affected (dam height is 93 m now, including 3 m illegal humps) still yet to be verified and confirmed.† They stated that there is no land available in Madhya Pradesh and that the Government of Maharashtra has accepted non-availability of agricultural land for any resettlement. Commenting on the report of Shri.Dilipsingh Bhuria, they admitted that it insists of land-for-land in resettlement only.† The authorities admitted that the Action Plan seems flawed and baseless under the prevailing circumstances. They also! c! onfi rmed that the submergence area in Madhya Pradesh has increased by 2703 hectares (about 12.75%) and the number of affected families will increase by ^—few thousands^“ more from the present 35716 families.
On 18th October 2000, the Supreme Court passed its final judgment in the SSP case sanctioning the immediate construction of the dam from 88 to 90m. It also directed the NCA to prepare an Action Plan with time schedules linking construction and resettlement. The Court also insisted that the resettlement should precede construction and not vice versa. Today, however, in the discussion with the officials the picture that emerged clearly proved that the resettlement of 90m affected is yet to be verified and confirmed. The resettlement of these families was to be completed by 31st December 2000! NCA admitted that the verification and confirmation of the status of 90 m affected is still being ascertained bycommittees in Maharashtra and M.P. In Maharashtra a government-appointed committee, Task Force, has begun its task of surveying the affected villages, with one aspect being verification of whether 90m affected famili! es! hav e been resettled or not. The initial findings of the survey is that there are hundred of families from the first few villages itself whose resettlement is yet to be completed.
NCA agreed with NBA that the violation of the Action Plan is apparent from the fact that 100m affected families were to be resettlement by 31st December 2001 and this too has not happened with more than 300 families officially balance.
Officials confirmed that the Madhya Pradesh Government has admitted that submergence area has increased by 2703 hectares (12.75% increase) while the number of affected families has increased from 33014 to 35716 and will surely increase further by ^—few thousands^“ atleast.
Shri.Dilipsingh Bhuria, Commissioner, National Supreme Court/ST Commission, pursuant to his visit to the submergence villages late last year reported that the Governments should provide land-for-land in resettlement. NCA officials have taken cognizance of this and have invited opinions from the three states on this and other recommendations in the report.
The officials were forced to come out and face the entire gathering with the proceedings taking place in the form of a public hearing. The sit-in continuous tomorrow with the expected participation of Narmada Valley Development Authority officials as well.