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

NO MORE DESTRUCTION : Satyagraha in the valley from August 5 !

62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Badwani,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
Tel: 07290-222464
Email: badwani[at]narmada.org

Dear Friends,

Despite the betrayal by almost all the arms of the State, the farmers, Adivasis, labourers, workers in the Narmada valley, are still determined to face the challenge posed by the Government.

Even after the historic 20 day fast by Medha Patkar, Bhagwatibehen and Jamsinghbhai in March-April, 2006, the Central government of India had agreed to allow the increase in the height of the dam, despite the violation of every letter and spirit of law, Tribunal order and judgements of the Supreme Court. It thus decided to sacrifice the lives, lands and rights of over 35,000 families for the sake of illegal increase in the height of the dam upto 122 meters.

The Shunglu committee appointed by the PM, to 'complete the rehabilitation' of over 35,000 families in the Narmada valley, before monsoon of 2006, could however come up with a weak, distorted and totally unprofessional report on the status of the displacement and resettlement in the valley - that too only in the Madhya Pradesh state. Its terms of reference were basically flawed, its modus operendi was biased and halfhazard and it had surveyed only some villages and some families, arrogantly brushing aside the reality of the resettlement the villagers themselves were pointing out. It has taken as a starting point the Action Taken Report (ATR) by the Madhya Pradesh government - against which the NBA had gone to the court, and which had violated the basic stipulations of the Tribunal order and Supreme Court rulings!! The ATR had violated the basic principle of resettlement of land for land and was filled up by giving ex-parte cash compensation to thousands of families.

Instead of questioning this serious breach of law and rights of people, the PM's committee took this as the basis of its survey - This is the way the Prime Minister's office works in India. How can the rights of the people be secure in such a situation when the protectors are themselves killers?

However, now the people have decided to protect the democracy, Constitution and people's rights and their sovereignty - the raison d'etre of Indian sate, born out of the values of our freedom struggle.

The people in the Narmada valley would waiting for the submergence in three places; they are awaiting what the Central government or Supreme Court can do. Beyond all that, they are determined not to leave their land, villages and beautiful, bountiful Narmada Valley.

Therefore,

We are starting the indefinite Satyagraha at three places : Rajghat ( on Aug 5, near Badwani), Bhitada (in Alirajpur tehsil, tribal village in M.P. on 6 August) and at Chimalkhedi (Maharasthra, on Aug 7). On 5th the Satyagraha will start with a massive rally in Badwani.

Come to the Narmada valley. You would see the valley, its beauty and horrible nature of impending submergence and the people's determination...

You have been with the people in the Narmada valley - and this time too you will be with us !

In Solidarity,

Medha Patkar and colleagues.

Contact : Narmada Bachao Andolan, M.Gandhi Marg, Badwani (Madhya Pradesh) Phone & Fax No. : 07290-222464 9425479254 (Ashish/Umesh). Badwani is at approx. 4hrs.journey by road from Dhulia (Maharashtra), Indore, Khandawa (Madhya Pradesh), Baroda (Gujrath). Other contact Nos. : Mumbai : Pervin Jehangir : 022-22185832, 9820636335 Pune : Sanjay Sangwai : 020-25450870, 9890025479 Dhulia : Shyam Patil : 02562-246419, 9423496020 Indore : Sarvoday Press Service : (0731) 2401083