Narmada Samachar: 29 January 2001
- Gujarat Earthquake
- President Narayanan's Republic Day speech
- Downstream impact of closing the gates of the SSP dam
- News related to SSP and other dams
- News related to the water problem and water misuse in Gujarat
- Recent Additions to the web-site
- Debate on Big Dams (two different viewpoints)
- Feature Article: Problems and trauma of displacement - R Akhileshwari
All this (and more) news can be accessed via the Press Clippings page at:
The NBA press releases are accessible at:
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As many of you must be aware, a massive earthquake has struck Gujarat. According to latest reports, the death toll is expected to cross 30,000. You can find complete coverage at: http://www.rediff.com/news/quake.htm. India Together has a good listing of relief efforts both in the US and in India at: http://www.indiatogether.org/relief/quake.htm. If any of want specific information about any of these, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, the NBA is also mobilizing support and resources for relief efforts in Kutch. More information about the NBA's relief efforts can be found at: http://www.narmada.org/related.issues/gujarat.earthquake/gujarat.earthquake.relief.appeal.html.
NBA Press ReleasesNarmada Valley expresses solidarity with Gujarat people;
Will participate in quake relief; Further investigations needed ;
NBA Press Release - Jan 28, 2001
Press ClippingsNarmada Dam safe ; Times of India - Jan 28
Experts dispute NBA theory on causes of quake ; Indian Express - Jan 28
Sanjay Sangvai of the NBA has responded to this misrepresentation and his letter is also published on the pressclippings section of the website.Sanjay Sangvai's clarifications ; - Jan 29
President Narayanan's Republic Day speech
On the eve of Republic Day, President K.R.Narayanan made another one of his "unconventional" addresses that he has become known for. In that address, he alluded to the Narmada issue and talked about how the current development path is hurting tribals and other marginalized sections. Enclosed below is the URL for his entire speech and some the media's interpretations of the same.President K.R.Narayanan's Republic Day address ; - Jan 26
Narayanan concerned over large river valley projects ; Rediff on the Net - Jan 25
Reminder on Narmada ; The Telegraph - Jan 26
A True Republican ; Times of India - Jan 27
President against constitution review, large dams ; Economic Times - Jan 26
Downstream impact of closing the gates of the SSP dam
Tribals Get Stinking Water As The Gates Of Narmada Project Are Being Closed On Whim And Fancy ; Sandesh (Translated from Gujarati) - Jan 8, 2001
News related to SSP and other dams
Demand immediate stoppage of construction on dam in face of imminent submergence in the monsoon of 2001 ;
NBA Press Release - Jan 25, 2001
Ex-minister speaks to Dubai NRIs on Narmada ; Times of India - Jan 22, 2001
Vyas to fight all obstacles in way of SSP Project; ; Indian Express - Jan 24, 2001
Canal work reviewed ; Indian Express - Jan 24, 2001
Medha Patkar files defamation suit ; Times of India - Jan 23, 2001
News related to the water problem and water misuse in Gujarat
State's apathy to water misuse surprises official ; Times of India - Jan 24, 2001
States gear up to tackle drought ; Times of India - Jan 22, 2001
The official machinery, already withering under the unending drought in many states, is getting ready to brave the warmer weather and deepening crisis from March. Officials are now questioning the wisdom of short-term and short-sighted measures which have messed up the situation in the past few decades.
Recent Additions to the web-site
- Added a collection of audio interviews (in real audio format) on the issue of dams (and specifically on the Narmada dam issue). If you notice any missing interview, please bring it to our attention.
Debate on Big Dams (two different viewpoints)
... The commission, evading its main task of adjudicating on the "development effectiveness" of dams, emphasised that poor planning has caused unnecessary harm. This contradicts critics' charges that it is the dams themselves, no matter how well planned, that inevitably have deleterious social and ecological impacts. Critics also say that dams are the very antithesis of development for the poor because they enable the expropriation of the resources of a river valley, placing the livelihood of people who depend on rivers at the disposal of those who have the power to exploit them. ...
... The debate on big dams has often been a simplistic one: depending on the stand you take, you can easily find arguments that would sustain your position. The Supreme Court judgment in October 2000 on the Sardar Sarovar Dam is an example; the majority of judges, who let the construction of the dam to continue, dwelt on the merits of big dams in their judgment, quite oblivious of the strong, cogent arguments against such dams. While the proponents of big dams often tend to underestimate the impact of such structures on the environment and on the people who would be displaced, some of their opponents make the mistake of challanging the very rationale of big dams. The publication of the report of the World Commission on Dams [WCD] is welcome insofar as it seeks to achieve a reasonable balance between these extreme positions. The report, released by former South African President Nelson Mandela on November 16 in London, is the culmination of more than two years of endeavour by the WCD's 12 independent members, who were chosen through a global search process to reflect regional diversity, expertise and stakeholder perspectives. Each member served in an individual capacity, and none represented an institution or a country. ...
Feature Article: Problems and trauma of displacement - R Akhileshwari
Deccan Herald - Jan 24, 2000
About 1500 families of more than 10 villages near Hyderabad are spending sleepless nights. The people are faced with losing their homes, land and their livelihood as the government plans to acquire about 5000 acres to build the prestigious international airport in Shamshabad mandal near Hyderabad, abutting the Hyderabad-Bangalore highway. ''What is this development? How is an airport useful to us,`` asked Mrs Nagamani, mother of three sons, with tears in her eyes. Her village, Chinnagollapally, is one of the 10 that is going to be acquired. ''It is like mowing down a tree and making the birds homeless,`` she said with earthy wisdom. Twentytwo-year-old Janardhan, an SC who sells flowers and vegetables in Hyderabad grown in his one acre field, said if the acquisition came about he would be forced to beg on the roads of Hyderabad. Balaraj Goud of the same village said the only alternative open to them was to turn into rag-pickers, and then they would have to live with the ''sin`` of displacing the present rag-pickers and depriving them of their livelihood. ''Perhaps the government should drop a bomb on us to spare us this trauma and then take our village for development,`` Goud said bitterly. The tragedy of Chinnagollapally is compounded by the fact that the people faced a similar displacement 80 years ago when the Himayatsagar dam was built to supply drinking water to Hyderabad. The State government plans to acquire 5000 acres in 10 villages of three mandals, that is Shamshabad, Saroornagar and Maheshwaram. About 3400 acres of this is privately owned. A majority of the 1500 families that will have to give up their homesteads, land and livelihood are farmers owning half acre to two acres. The proposed international airport is a joint venture between private sector, the government of Andhra Pradesh and Central government, with the private sector holding 74 per cent of the equity. The Central and State governments will equally share the remaining 26 per cent. The lands under acquisition are situated less than 20 km from Hyderabad. Even as the government has notified the lands for acquisition and the demand for them and their value has plummetted, the price of land outside the borders of the airport has catapulted to anything between Rs 50-70 lakh per acre. The Shamshabad International Airport Land-losers Welfare Association points out that the government was dealing a double blow to the affected people. Not only is it displacing them, but offering a pittance of a compensation of Rs 45,000 per acre whereas the prevailing market rate is between Rs 16 lakh and Rs 22 lakh per acre. The Association suggests that the government change the location of the airport to the other side of Hyderabad where most of the land is undeveloped and infertile. It will involve no dislocation of people and also safeguard the fertile lands of Shamshabad. Every family of the 1500 affected families under the airport plan grows flowers, vegetables and fruits that find a ready market in Hyderabad. Almost all flowers, whether roses or jasmines or chrysanthemum, and 30-50 per cent of vegetables and fruits consumed by the people of Hyderabad are supplied by the farmers of Shamshabad. The Association says the government is using ''underhand`` methods to deny the people to be displaced the compensation due to them. For instance, the sub-registrar has not increased the official land rate, the yardstick for calculating the land value, for five years. Besides, it has passed an ''award`` of Rs 45,000 per acre for 137 acres being acquired in the first phase around Manneguda village, most of which belongs to a former raja and is under dispute. This rate will serve as a precedent to deny higher rates being demanded by the people of other villages. There are barely 19 families in Manneguda. Also, the government is under-assessing the number of households being displaced. While the number of households according to the government is 228 families, the Association puts it etween 700 and 800, mainly due to grown up sons of a household setting up their own homesteads after marriage and dividing the land. The Association points out that the AP government gave Rs 2.25 lakh per acre for 2500 acres it acquired for the Simhadri Thermal Power project in Visakhapatnam district. Similarly, the Government of Karnataka gave compensation ranging from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 6.5 lakh for land for its proposed Devanahalli international airport, 40 km from Bangalore. Yadi Reddy of the Association says: ''Here we are 17 km from the city, the lands highly fertile and the surrounding land is valued at Rs 20-22 lakh an acre..Yet the government wants to pay us only Rs 45,000 per acre.`` The Association makes it clear that it is not against the airport but only wants justice to be done to those about to lose their all. It demands include providing alternative equal lands to the affected instead of compensation in cash at the same distance from Hyderabad or compensation for lands under acquisition of present market value which is Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per acre as on date, employment and educational opportunities to all qualified persons among the displaced, compensation to the poor cultivators who are in possession of government land on par with private lands, and reasonable compensation to the landless people who depend upon agricultural work.