| NBA Press Release
|| 16 May 2002
Dharna of the Man dam oustees continues for second day in Bhopal
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
B-13, Shivam Flats
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
The indefinite dharna of the Man dam oustees that begun here on the 15th of May 2002 in Bhopal continued for second day today. The Man Project is bring built on the Man river and is one of the thirty large dams in the Narmada valley. Almost 5000 adivasis are slated to be submerged under this reservoir this monsoon, without any rehabilitation. A delegation of village representatives from the Man Project submergence zone accompanied by NBA activist Shri Alok Agarwal met Shri Vyas, Member(Rehabilitation), NVDA late last evening to explain what the demands of the adivasis affected by the Project are. The affected people reiterated their resolve that until they are given agricultural land in lieu of the land that they are losing, they would continue with their struggle.
Addressing the dharna that is being held at the Tinshed area in Bhopal, Bondibai, a respected adivasi woman leader from the area and resident of affected village Khanpura said that the government must explain why is that whenever it is a question of development and development projects, it is adivasis who always have to face uprootment and dispossession ? If we are not given land for land, there is no hope that the tribals will be able to survive. She said that adivasi people have to be resettled as a community because, if their community is ruptured they will become prey to enormous repression. Vestibai from Village Khedi said that whatever repression the government takes recourse to, we will take our rights.
Late last evening a delegation of affected people and NBA activists met Shri Vyas, Member(Rehabilitation), NVDA. The delegation demanded on the basis of the Rehabilitation policy of the state government for the oustees of the Narmada Projects that all affected people must be given agricultural lands and resettled as a community with all minimum community infrastructure. The affected people demanded that dam work, tree felling and all other such activities must be stopped until the affected people are rehabilitated. They also clarified that they would not withstand police repression and the use of police force to oust them illegally without rehabilitation under any circumstances. Shri Vyas clarified to the delegation that he would take decisions on issues that under his jurisdiction and that several of the other demands would have to be taken by the government at the highest level.
The delegation comprised of Shri Chander Singh of Village Khedi Balwadi, Shri Govind Rawat of Village Khanpura, Mantribai of Village Rehtiaon and NBA activists Alok Agarwal and Chittaroopa Palit
The affected adivasis of the Man area are continuing their dharna with full enthusiasm , singing the songs of their struggle, calling slogans and raising their voices for their rights, even in face of the most adverse circumstances.Chittaroopa Palit