NBA Press Release
  16 July 2008
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

CBI arrests Rehabilitation Officer for Narmada projects red-handed accepting bribe

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NBA demands that all corrupt and insensitive officers to be removed

Yesterday, CBI officers raided the offices of the Narmada Hydro-Development Corporation Limited (NHDC) at Khandwa and arrested Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Officer Shri R.S. Asadkar taking a bribe of Rs. 20,000 from a farmer for payment of compensation that was already due to him. The said farmer had complained to the CBI that he was being asked to make a payment of bribe for compensation that was his legitimate right.

Shri Shri R.S. Asadkar was posted as Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Officer of the NHDC at the Khandwa office. The land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement works of the Indira Sagar Project and the Omkareshwar Project are being carried out from this office. Shri Asadkar was delaying the payment of compensation to Shri Balkrishna Patel until the farmer paid a bribe. On this, the oustee Shri Balkrishna Patel and his brother Shri Kunjbihari Patel made a complaint to the CBI. A team of 15 officers from the CBI office in Bhopal came to Khandwa and caught the officer taking a bribe red-handed.

It may be noted that it was only last week that nearly ten thousand oustees of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Projects marched in Bhopal under the aegis of the Narmada Bachao Andolan stating that they were not prepared to withstand the regime of injustice arbitrariness and corruption being perpetrated by the State Government and the NHDC any more. They had stated that thousands of houses had been excluded from the payment of compensation and from the R&R entitlements, because the oustees had not paid bribes.

It may be noted that up to date 16 officials of the NHDC have been either caught red-handed in CBI raids or indicted by the Lok Ayukta for other irregularities. The list of such officials include Shri S.K.Saxena, Shri R.R.Pateke, Shri Mohansingh Thakur, Shri D.R. Maheshwar, Shri Suresh chandra Ghodake, Shri OP Bhatt, Shri Sewakram Dangode, Shri Kamalsingh Mandloi, Shri Manoj Malviya, Shri Gulabsingh Ankare, Shri Amrutlal Umaria, Shri V.S.Rawat, Shri GS Baghel, Shri V.K. Jain, Shri J.S. Saluja, Shri P.S. Upadhyay, and Shri Sureshchandra Ghodke. The apprehension and arrest of Shri Asadkar adds to the list.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan asserts that it is shameful and cannot be tolerated even for an instant that the oustees of the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar and other Narmada Projects who are sacrificing their all in the name of national development and public interest should be subjected to arbitrariness, extortion and corruption by the State Government and the NHDC, and to run from pillar to post, merely to receive what is their legitimate requirement. Every poor oustee cannot approach the CBI or the Lok Ayukta. Therefore, the State Government must immediately transfer all corrupt and insensitive officials out of the sensitive work of land acquisition and R&R for these projects, whether they hold the highest or subordinate positions. The NBA will provide the State Government within the next week a list of such officials working in the NVDA and the NHDC who are notorious for their corrupt and callous behavior, demanding their transfer, and for the verification of their property by the CBI.

Chittaroopa Palit , Alok Agarwal , Ramkuwar Rawat, Bhagwan Mukati