| NBA Press Release
|| 29 May 2006
NBA concerned about Sardar Sarovar Oversight Group's mode of operation; Call for serious review of survey methodology and immediate redressal
62, Mahatma Gandhi Road,
Madhya Pradesh - 451551
In spite of the long struggle by the people in the Narmada Valley and the nation wide support, the work at the Sardar Sarovar Dam site continues. Refusing to intervene with the authority and the responsibility granted by the Supreme Court in its major judgement of 2000, the Prime Minister kept silent, bypassed the report by three ministers who visited the Valley in April, and refused to take a stance on the obvious situation of displacement of thousands of adivasi and farmer families, with submergence without rehabilitation, allowing the dam height to be raised to 122 metres. The ongoing construction of the dam is thus going to be fatal for the Valley where farms and houses are to surely face devastation with the coming monsoon, the number being dependent on the rainfall and likely to reach anywhere up to 35, 000 as per the official contour maps.
The only initiative by the PM office and all authorities allied with them has been to appoint a committee led by Mr. VK Shunglu, the former CAG of India. The committee of three former bureaucrats with its limited term of reference, not without contradictions, is to conclude on compliance with the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) policies and Court orders by 30th of June, that is not before the onset of monsoon and without questioning the impending threat of submergence. The Supreme Court unfortunately avoided any order ensuring compliance, for example suspension of dam work till rehabilitation, referring to nothing else but the Shunglu Committee and its upcoming work.
Large number of our supporters must have felt relieved that someone is looking into the ground level reality. However, the NBA oustees and activists had to be cautious and assess carefully the survey work by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) during the first few days itself. Our findings gathered from different villages where the survey teams had reached, are certainly not very promising but rather shocking. While you watch and remain concerned about peoplesí struggle and the response of the State, we forward to you our letter to the committee and NSSO, which speaks for itself.
Please do remain active in raising the issue, condemning the betrayal by the State and the courts. Do join us by writing to the committee and spread the message to other people.
Write to the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi, the President, condemning the lack of intervention against such a serious situation. You could also write to Mr. Shunglu with your own thoughts and advice.
Medha Patkar, Ashish Mandloi, Dipti Bhatnagar, Deoram Kanlera, Pema
Bapu, Mohan Patidar, Ranvir Singh, Kailash Awasya