NBA Press Release
  28 January 2004
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Fast by Medha Patkar and Other NBA Activists Continues on Sixth Day; Government to Decide on Further Construction in Wednesday’s Cabinet Meeting

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On Tuesday, January 27, 2004 the Joint Resettlement Planning Committee constituted by the Government of Maharashtra met to decide on the several contentious issues regarding the rehabilitation of SSP affected adivasis in Maharashtra. Several positive decisions were made initiating a process to ensure rehabilitation of the project affected people including declaring eligible oustees. The decision on whether Maharashtra will permit the further construction of the dam was postponed to be taken in Wednsday’s (Jan 28) Cabinet Meeting. The Planning Committee arrived at a consensus that the further construction at present should not be permitted since rehabilitation was yet to be completed. Rehabilitation Minister Mr. Vilas Patil would meet the Chief Minister to represent the Planning Committee’s decisions. Meanwhile those fasting have decided to continue their fast. Medha Patkar, Kamala Yadav, Bhikam Singh, Kalusingh launched their fast on January 23, to demand that the Maharashtra government take a clear stand of not agreeing to any increase in the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam until the resettlement of its oustees is complete. The health of those on fast is deteriorating as they experience severe bouts of vomiting, headache and body ache. The meeting was attended by Mr.Vilasrao Patil, alongwith Minister of state for Rehabilitation, Mr. Ramraje Nimbalkar, Mr. Kothe (Principal Secretary-Forests), Mr. Kishore Gajbhiye (Divisional Commissioner, Nashik), Mr. Vatsa (Secretary R & R) and other officials; Ms. Surekha Dalvi, Mr.R.V. Bhuskute, Mr. Anand Kapoor, Ms. Prathiba Shinde, Shri. Ranya Gonjya (Mukhadi village), Kewalsingh (Neemgavan village), Noorjya (Chimalkhedi village), Jathrya Magan (Mannibeli village, Yogini Khanolkar and Clifton D’ Rozario. The Planning Committee held a long discussion on the issue of the Action Taken Report (ATR) to be submitted in the R&R Sub-group meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Jan 28). It was decided that a position paper rehabilitation status prepared by NBA would be placed before the Cabinet tomorrow. The Government of Maharashtra is supposed to place its ATR stating R&R status before the R&R Sub-group and it is on this basis that the Sub-group decides on the further construction. The procedure for declaring the 2200 Adivasi families identified by the Task Force Committee was decided in the meeting with March 30th, 2004 accepted as the deadline for declaring all the eligible Project affected persons.

Geetanjali Chavan
Pravin Shivshankar
Ashish Mandloi