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

Supreme Court's cruel statement damns and devastates the Narmada Valley.

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Supreme Court violates its own former orders in favour of petty politics
Delayed justice is denied justice

The Supreme Court of India, after so much delay, has finally knocked down the Sardar Sarovar-affected adivasis and farmers by violating its own judgments earlier. The Dam will damn and devastate 35,000 and more families. This has become a death sentence for this most ancient valley and the civilisation. The UPA Government have proved to be in alliance by favouring Modi's violent ways and means to development, and not Gandhi's 'Antyodaya'. It has indeed exhibited courage to allow a project, with claimed benefits and costs to compensation and rehabilitation to be pushed and waters to be filled on the dead bodies of generations old inhabitants of a river valley.

The Court's verdict is against the rights of the oustees who are protected by Article 21 of the Constitution. The verdict shows an anti-poor perspective. Development will now have not only an inhuman but also a brutal face and force.

The Supreme Court has hidden behind an unbelievable reason ^ disputed facts ^ to postpone the decision on the raising of the dam height while ignoring the 'undisputed' facts presented by all the parties including the governments on incomplete rehabilitation. It has also bypassed its own 'unchallenged verdicts'. When it became clear to every committee that visited the Valley before ^ World Bank's, Union of India's to that of Members of Parliament ^ that injustice was being imposed, and records and reports were flawed, the Court couldn't and didn't take the responsible task of investigation into the jumbling of not figures, but of families in thousands, nor a timely conclusion.

The Court has failed to correct the gross abitrariness of the Executive. We have also witnessed an alliance among all the organs of the State, with arrogance against the poor and no difference between the communal-secular violent ways of Gandhi's Gujarat. The UPA government has decided and conveyed to the country that in this globalised, liberalised era, development decisions will be made by the multinationals to the corporate interests with political distortion of the truth, all of which is obviously dominant in Sardar Sarovar and not mass-rooted democracy or the scientific or rational analysis of social, environmental and economic conditions.

The Centre has made a mockery of its role with regard to the development project-affected, especially the adivasis, while rhetorical respect is paid to them in corporate fora. If this is the response by the System, we will have no alternative but to take it by its horns.

The Valley will face the flood but also challenge the barbaric ways of water management that are all out to kill river valleys including by the Interlinking of Rivers.

It's very obvious that the Oversight Group appointed by the PM is a move to count the bones and ribs of the people in lakhs when the breathlessness is what was to be treated. The Group is beginning with a contradictory terms of reference and has not consulted us till date.

The Court has forgotten its own commitments to the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, both its letter and spirit, and also the Constitutional right to life. By not giving a decision on cash or land, the Court has failed to stop the massive corruption of crores, as reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and unjust betrayal of adivasis as exposed in the case of Bhitada adivasis.

The Court has come to us as a shock. The injustice meted to the people of Narmada cannot be forgotten, who have been fighting for two decades. The decision will result in allowing the Dam and Destruction to be a 'fait accompli'. We will fight to the finish.

Kailash Awasya Dipti Bhatnagar Medha Patkar