NBA Press Release
  01 July 2002
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Satyagraha Begins Amidst Heavy Rains;
More Severe Rains to Come: 8000 Families to be Affected This Year

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
Ellora Park,
Baroda-390007
Tel: 0265-282232
Email: baroda@narmada.org

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-22464
Email: badwani@narmada.org

Heavy rains, coupled with washing away of roads and culverts have prevented people from reaching Domkhedi and Jalsindhi to formally inaugurate the Satyagraha yesterday (30.6.2002). Eminent film director Mr.Mansoor Khan, supporters from Mumbai, Tamilnadu, scores of people from Nimad and other places couldn't reach the Satyagraha centers due to heavy rains in the Narmada Valley. Nevertheless, people from different villages around Domkhedi and Jalsindhi gathered at the Satyagraha Centres and reiterated their resolve not to move out of their houses and fields when at the time of unjust submergence. The ones who couldn't reach the Satyagraha Centres yesterday gathered at village Maal in the Narmada Valley and extended support and solidarity to the valiant struggle to protect the right to life and livelihood.

One may remember that due to an unjust and illegal raise of dam height by 5 mts, approved by the Narmada Control Authority on May 17th 2002, over 8000 (eight thousand) families are exposed to the danger of losing their houses and lands in the coming monsoon, due to the flood of Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Dam. The families were told to vacate the houses and villages, without showing any alternative sources for living or livelihood. Refusing to budge to the threats of the police and other rehabilitation officials, the people stood firm in their resolve that unless they are provided with what the law prescribes to an oustee, they will not empty their houses or villages, come what may.

The 17 years long struggle in the Narmada valley has now reached its peak. And what lies ahead is an unprecedented challenge. It has been established that the height of the demonic Dam - Sardar Sarovar - will be raised 95 mts + 3 mts. humps before this monsoon which will affect more than 60 villages of Madhya Pradesh, 33 villages of Maharashtra and hundreds of families in Gujarat. More than 8000 families face the danger of submergence in this year's monsoon.

It is a State sponsored 'massacre by water', as it is bent upon drowning the adivasi and farmers, there is no idea of the exact number of the endangered people and without any possibility of their just resettlement with alternate land. This will be the man-made flooding and submergence of the people. The extent of such a disaster will depend the on the rainfall this monsoon.

The Satygaraha at Domkhedi (Maharashtra) and Jalsindhi (Madhya Pradesh) - on the opposite banks of the river Narmada - will continue till the end of the monsoon season. Hundreds of supporters from many parts of the country and abroad will be taking part in it, along with hundreds and thousands of villages affected by the dam. People affected by other dams in the Narmada valley will also come down and strengthen the hands of the struggling people.

The Satyagraha will also witness many activities, like previous years- Rallies, meetings, public hearings being some of them. Many eminent people are expected to participate in these programs.

M.K.Sukumar
Geethanjali