|NBA Press Note
||November 15, 2000
NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
Over 60 US organisations call upon the President of India to halt the work on SSP right away
Over 60 organisations in United States, including environmental, labour, consumer, theatre, women's, peace, minority and human rights' groups, have written to the President of India, Mr.K.R.Narayanan to immediately stop the construction of the dam, using his special powers, guaranteed by the Constitution of India. In a letter sent out yesterday (14th Nov.) they have called upon the President to:
The letter further says, "This ruling (of Supreme Court) comes despite overwhelming evidence that the project will cause environmental degradation and jeopardize the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people, including a large proportion of adivasis (tribals). The project was cleared although no credible environmental studies or rehabilitation plans were ever completed.
"The majority judgment claims that "a properly drafted [resettlement and rehabilitation] plan would improve living standards of displaced persons after displacement" and has given project authorities four weeks to draw up a plan for the 200,000 people to be displaced by the reservoir. A plan was supposed to have been completed by 1981, as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award. It is not credible that the authorities who have failed to produce a credible plan in 20 years can complete one in a month's time".
On the violations of Environmental norms during the letter said, "Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the majority judgment by Justices Kirpal and Anand states that "experience does not show that the construction of a large dam is not cost effective or leads to ecological or environmental degradation. On the contrary there has been ecological upgradation with the construction of large dams." This opinion flies in the face of a huge corpus of evidence showing the massive environmental impacts of dams in India and around the world".
"In his minority judgment, Justice Bharucha has pointed out that construction has been pushed forward in systematic violation of legal requirements for environmental clearances".
Urging the President to Stop Construction immediately, the made it clear that the, "..... it is clear that any further construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam will have grave consequences. It is imperative that immediate steps be taken to safeguard against the blatant violation of the right to life and livelihood of the many adivasi communities in the Narmada Valley. Otherwise, a serious human tragedy will develop in the coming monsoon as homes and fields of thousands of families will be flooded".
The signatories of the letter include: