NBA Press Release
  07 May 2006
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Governments continue to mislead the courts

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

False Claims of Rehabilitation and Utilisation of Water at 110 Mts. will be Countered in the Supreme Court on May 8th

With No Suspension of Dam Work No Amount of Review and Further Review Ensure Compliance

The Narmada case: Rehabilitation, Dam height and related aspects of Sardar Sarovar Project is becoming more and more complicated as the Governments are resorting to falsehood in their latest submissions till May 6th, 2006. On one hand, the Government of Madhya Pradesh continues to play with number of Project Affected Families. Their number of PAFs increased by 10,000 families suddenly to make it 51,447 families affected at full dam height is still not reflected into the number of families below 122 meters. It is the latter that they have reduced rather than increased from 28,000 + to 23,000 + families. The numbers should have gone up to include all major sons as on the date of land acquisition which is on even now.

All the affidavits and submissions of GoMP also don^t give the correct figure of families eligible for land. All throughout, till 1995 the number of M.P. families eligible for land, to be resettled in Gujarat or M.P., was around 14,900 yet there is a sudden jumbling and the total number of families to be resettled in Gujarat and M.P. with land has now come down to less than 10,000 +. This is shocking because in reality, as the March 2005 Supreme Court judgment has made clear, the NWDT Tribunal needs to be interpreted to accept every major son of farmers losing 25% of land as eligible for land. Their list and number per village below 110, 122 meters is certainly not finalised, nor added, which would have raised the number of land eligible not reduced it! The underestimate is also obvious from a GoMP document which shows the number of land eligible families in one tehsil alone to be 6,355!

Beyond numbers, GoMP has been playing with FIRs against activists and affected villagers, farmers both of whom together form NBA, without their knowledge. A huge bunch of FIRs filed against villagers who are active and articulate, including those affected youths who give full time to the Andolan form a part of GoMP^s affidavits. Apart from distorting and diverting away from the issues of real conflict, it is to defame the Andolan in the eyes of the State and the Society both. It should be known, however, that most of these FIRs are filed in December 2005 when we were, in hundreds on a mass sit-in at Badwani, in front of the Narmada Authority^s Office. When a flock of vehicles would go to the villages for luring and threatening them to accept cash and sign ready made forms committing to give cash in lieu of land and falsely stating that offered (which never really was!) land was unacceptable when the villagers including a few active oustees wanted to question them, FIR was fi led under a charge of obstructing government work.

The same practice continues even today. The reports from the valley are that after the Delhi agitation the officials in Badwani and Dhar districts are known to be visiting the affected villages and whenever they are questioned by a group of concerned villagers, charges are filed. All this for the Court, not for justice!

Medha Patkar
Dipti Bhatnagar