NBA Press Release
  02 September 2009
Save The Narmada, Save Humanity!

Madhya Pradesh High Court directs grant of 5 acres of agricultural land to 16,000 adult sons and adult unmarried daughters

2, Sai nagar, Mata Chowk,
Khandwa,
Madhya Pradesh
Tel/FAX: 0733-2228418, 9425394606, 9425928007
Email: nobigdams[at]sancharnet.in

On the 2nd of September 2009, in an important decision, a bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising of Chief Justice Anang Kumar Patnaik and Justice Pankaj Jaiswal directed that the adult sons and adult unmarried daughters of the Indira Sagar dam affected cultivator displaced families be allotted 5 acres of land within a period of 3 months. The High Court also said that the adult sons and adult unmarried daughters are entitled to Special Rehabilitation Grant as "separate families". These directions were passed in a Contempt petition filed by the Narmada Bachao Andolan. It may be noted that in Indira Sagar Project there are more than 16,000 families of adult sons and adult un-married daughters of cultivator displaced families.

It may be noted that on the 8th of September 2006, a division bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising of Hon'ble Justice Shri Dipak Mishra and Hon'ble Justice Shri Shantanu Kemkar held in its Order and Judgment dated 8.09.2006 in Writ Petition No. 3022/2005 that the adult sons and adult unmarried daughters of the Indira Sagar displaced families would be entitled to R&R, SRG and all other benefits of the R&R Policy as "separate families". But the State Government and the Narmada Hydro-Development Corporation (NHDC) which is building the dam has not complied with the said directions in the last 3 years. It may be noted that the NHDC has earned Rs. 1200 crores profits in the last three years from the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dams. Despite the fact that the Company has benefited so handsomely, neither it nor the State Government are complying with the R&R measures.

The petitioner also complained that the Narmada Valley Development Authority has unilaterally taken a decision on the 2nd of February 2009 that it will fill the Indira Sagar reservoir up to 262.13 meters, although there is permission to fill the reservoir only up to 260 meters, at the present. On this matter, the Madhya Pradesh High Court stated that if the water level is sought to be increased above 260 meters, the petitioner will be at liberty to file a contempt petition.

The NHDC and the State Government were represented by Shri R.N. Singh, senior Counsel and Shri Arpan Pawar, advocate at the hearing. Activist Ms. Chittaroopa Palit represented the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Alok Agarwal, Gajraj Singh, Rajendra Prasad, Chotubhai, Surajbai