NBA Press Release
  04 June 2002
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Indefinite Fast Enters 15th Day: Government Resorts to Hollow Claims

NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
Jail Road, Mandleshwar
District Khargone, Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07283-33162
Email: nobigdam@sancharnet.in

The indefinite fast by Smt.Chittaroopa Palit, Ku.Ramkuvar, Shri.Vinod Patwa and Shri.Mangat Varma has entered the 15th day today. Though the fasting activists and representatives of the villages, mainly affected by the Maan dam, being built Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, are weak physically, but are more determined today. Meanwhile, the indefinite dharna (sit in) by hundreds of people affected by the Maan dam and their supporters have entered the 21st day.

The announcement made by the state government today that they are compensating the Maan dam oustees with land, for the land which is under submergence, is an utter lie. The government's own records expose this claim. The claim includes that every family is given cash compensation to buy land for themselves, in lieu of the land in submergence, and that, they have selected 500 ha land for the rehabilitation. The people fail to understand that if the land is available and has been earmarked, then why is that the government is not giving it to the oustees.

According to the Rehabilitation Policy, every oustee, whose land and houses are coming under submergence, is entitled for a minimum 2 ha of irrigated land. But by distributing merely cash the government is washing off the responsibility of providing land. By this, the lives and livelihood of the tribals are also at peril. No tribal family will be able to buy enough land for their survival by the meagre amount distributed by the government. Why is that the government is not distributing the land to the oustees, which they claim is available, when all that the oustees are demanding is land?

The fact remains that hundreds of families will be losing the land and houses in the coming monsoon. The government insensitively violated all rights of the oustees in the mad pursuit of building the dam.

Several prominent orgarnisations in Madhya Pradesh has visited the dharna place and extended unconditional support to the agitation. They include, Sunilbhai of Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Anurag Modi of Shramik Adivasi Sangathan, Guiyabai of Kisan Adivasi Sangathan, Madhuribehen of Jagrut Dalit, Adivasi Sangh, Dr.Rahul Sharma of Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti Naresh Vishwas of Ekta Parishad, Anisa B. of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan and others.

The indefinite fast and dharna will continue till their just demand of proper rehabilitation is not met.

Alok Agrawal
Rakesh Patidar