NBA Press Release
  02 July 2006
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!


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The Narmada Bachao Andolan got news that the Shunglu Committee has submitted its report on rehabilitation of affected families in Madhya Pradesh to the Prime Minister. Earlier today, Medha Patkar and the NBA sent a letter to the Prime Minister by fax, requesting him to make public the report of the Shunglu Committee whenever it was submitted, and also for him to give a chance to affected people and their organisation to comment on the report.

The full text of the letter is below.

July 2, 2006


Shri Manmohan Singh ji, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi

Respected Shri Manmohan Singh Ji,

You surely remember that the construction work at Sardar Sarovar Dam is on and reaching its target of 122 mts. The people from the valley numbering not less than 1.5 lakhs (35,000 families) continue to reside in the affected area if the rainfall is 1:100 years scale. But this rainfall can occur in any year as in 1994 (1:70 years) and in 1970 (1:100 years), when thousands of houses were affected without this, which is a further barrier, causing huge pondage. How tragic would be the monsoon and flooding remains to be watched by all and fought by the living human communities of farmers and laborers who haven't yet begin committing suicides.

Meanwhile the Oversight Group led by Mr. Shunglu must have submitted to you the Report that was due yesterday, June 30th which was also the deadline for the both- completing the R&R of all 122 mts affected families (obviously not achieved at the time of the approval for the same nor one year before submergence the deadline stipulated by NWD Tribunal Award). We hope the Committee would also submit to you the report of NSS organization and the Over view reports of their individual surveyors, as well as the report of the private company, IDC, commissioned by the OSG to do verification of survey data. All of these documents are supposed to bring forth the ground reality in the Valley even if as a post facto exercise, to help you access the situation of legal compliance and justice ensured or denied to the oustees.

You will agree that this exercise initiated by your office is one related to the Constitutional rights of the oustee as individual citizen and generation old communities, the Gram Sabha and hence the above mentioned reports should be the documents in the public domain. With the oft-stated commitment of your government to transparency, it would be a sorry affair, if these reports affecting their rights are not made available to the people and the movement. We would surely be able to give our rejoinder to the reports as we have made a number of submissions to the oversight group and made certain* considered *comments on the research methodology- tools, processes, interpretations and correlations- submitted to OG and NSSO both. We therefore request you to make the above-mentioned reports (the final OG Report, the NSSO report and the Surveyors reports) available to us and consider our comments *before you make any decision based on the same* and before GoIs viewpoint is submitted to the Supreme Court. We trust that you would respond positively and promptly

We are also happy to submit to you a short report on Survey and factual data as gathered by 4 of the Gram Sabhas in the Valley, some educated volunteers as supporters for recording, reporting and translating assisted the community representatives. We have such data on many more villages and the same can be used by anyone who feels concerned for the truth amidst so much of politics and paraphernalia. We hope you would benefit of the same in your decision making, which needs to be utmost impartial and of your own as the authorized arbitrator as per the Supreme Court judgments (2000 to 2006). This is our appeal to you, at this critical time, when you have to decide finally on the Narmada issue and take a firm position on displacement, rehabilitation and its linkage to development plans.

May, I also take this opportunity to convey to you a need for a final consultation with the people's organizations on the newly drafted National Rehabilitation policy, before it goes to the Parliament or is approved at the Cabinet level. We who had contributed to the drafting process feel this very strongly.

Thanking you and with regards,

Yours Sincerely,

Sd/- Medha Patkar