NBA Press Release
  14 March 2007
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

High Court Orders M.P Government to file affidavit on damages in Indira Sagar dam in the context of apprehended down-stream impacts; Survey by Central Water Commission and Survey of India begins in ISP
submergence area; State Government admits that 2330 acres in 71 villages had been left out by mistake

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Certain important orders were passed and several significant facts came to light during the course of the hearing on 1st of March 2007, in the Madhya Pradesh High Court in a case filed by the oustees of the Indira Sagar Project in WP No. 13919, Rajendra Prasad and Ors. Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors.

High Court orders NHDC and State Government to file affidavits on damaged Indira Sagar dam structure in the context of downstream safety

The oustees filed an Application stating that substantial damage to the spill-way and buckets of the Indira Sagar dam had recently come to light that seemed to indicate poor construction. In the light of the fact, that the Indira Sagar dam is slated to impound one-thirds of the Narmada waters, and damages and breaching of the dam may cause un-imaginable damage to the lakhs of people living in thousands of villages in the downstream districts of Khandwa, Dewas, Khargone, Badwani, Dhar, Jhabua as well as Nandurbar and Dhule districts of Maharashtra, and Vadodra and Bharuch districts of Gujarat. The oustees had also stated that any breach in the Indira Sagar dam is likely to damage and breach the downstream Omkareshwar and Sardar Sarovar dams, and compound the destruction. They had prayed for an enquiry, and that the water level not be filled above 245 meter unless the Government of Madhya Pradesh gives an undertaking about the safety of the dam structure. After hearing the app! lication, the Honorable Court ordered that the State Government and the NHDC file affidavits in this matter by the 20th of March 2007, with full details.

Prayer for not filling ISP reservoir beyond 245 meters in 2007 monsoon permitted to be brought later

The oustees had prayed that since the CWC and the Survey of India had only just commenced the FRL and BWL surveys/identification, and had stated that the same would be completed by them only by monsoon, to be followed by the process of rehabilitation and compensation, it was clear that there was no possibility of the completion of R&R by the monsoon of 2007, therefore the gates of the dam must be kept open and the water not impounded above 245 meters in the monsoon of 2007. The High Court stated that the matter could be considered at a later juncture.

Survey by Central Water Commission and Survey of India in ISP submergence area commences

The FRL and BWL surveys by the Central Water Commission and the Survey of India commenced in the ISP submergence zone. 7 teams are stationed for the present and the same may be increased in the coming months. The survey began with the benchmarks in the entire reservoir rim of 800 kms. being set out by the CWC team. It may be noted that the GOMP/NHDC surveys had been found to be gravely flawed in September 2006 when the Court had permitted the height of the reservoir to be raised from 255 meters to 260 meters, submerging over 75 houses and hundreds of acres of land, never slated to be submerged. It was at that juncture that a group of oustees of the ISP area had moved the Court once again, asking for re-survey up to FRL and beyond and complaining of submergence without identification, acquisition and R&R. It was in this context that the Court had ordered that the FRL/BWL surveys be done by the CWC and the Survey of India since the GOMP surveys had been found to be unreliable.

State Government admits that in 71 villages, 2330 acres under Full Reservoir Level had been left out by mistake

The NHDC and the State government admitted on affidavit filed before this hearing that in the villages on the rim of the ISP reservoir re-surveyed till date, mistakes have been found in 71 villages. 28 villages remain for survey. In this resurvey, 2330 acres of land which had not been counted in submergence earlier have now been found to be in the submergence.

The Court also ordered that Section 4 Notifications for all villages should be done by 20th March 2007 and 80% advance compensation should be given to all affected oustees by the 7th of April 2007. The Court also ordered that a list of houses affected under FRL/ BWL etc be filed in the affidavits. It may be noted that around 1200 houses had already been found to be under submergence at FRL that had been mistakenly left out. As the numbers of houses were mounting on re-survey, the State Government was seeking to conceal the same.

GRA investigates mistakes in submergence levels

The Grievance Redressal Authority for Indira Sagar Project submitted its fifth report in the High Court yesterday. The Report stated that on tour of submergence affected villages Richi, Bedani, Piplani and Chandel of District Khandwa and Villages Khapras, Tipras, Nayapura and Fatehgarh, it was found that 200 acres of land and 251 houses that were not slated for submergence as per earlier Government figures were now found to be submerging.

The case was heard by Justices Dipak Mishra and Shantanu Kemkar of the M.P. High Court. Advocate General Shri R.N. Singh represented the NHDC and the State Government, and the Central Water Commission and Survey of India was represented by Additional Solicitor General Shri Dharmendra Sharma. Advocate Shri Rajesh Sharma, represented the Grievance Redressal Authority while Advocate Shri Abhijit Bhowmik represented the Indira Sagar oustees. The next hearing will be on the 10th of April 2007.

Alok Agarwal, Rajendra Prasad,Lakshminarayan Meena,Bhagwan Mukati