Narmada Samachar: 9 April 2001
- Killing of Adivasis in MP
- Narmada Sangarsh Parikrama
- The Man Front
- Maheshwar Update
- Water Scarcity in Gujarat
- The Tehri Issue
- Other News
- New addition to website
- New course at Stanford
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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Killing of Adivasis in MP
On April 3rd, 2001, seven adivasis (tribals) were killed by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Bagli tehsil in Dewas district. Please read the press release by the NBA and a short report by 'Jan Sangarsh Morcha' who visited the area on 7th April. The report shows that the police firing was not an isolated incident. According to the report, "for many days prior to this, scores of forest officials, police and armed teams of the Special Armed Force (SAF) have been attacking the adivasi villages, demolishing the huts, looting and assaulting the people and misbehaving with women." Please write to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister at "firstname.lastname@example.org" or "email@example.com". We will also send out a separate action alert on this list.Narmada Bachao Andolan condemns killing of Adivasis, demands CBI enquiry ;
NBA Press Release - April 6, 2001
Macabre dance of State Atrocities against Adivasis in Dewas, MP ; Report by Jan Sangharsh Morcha - April 8, 2001
Narmada Sangarsh Parikrama
Farmers in Narmada Valley do not accept removal of Quantitative Restrictions
on agricultural imports, large Kisan Sammelan at Badwani.
Narmada Sangharsh Parikrama Enters 3rd Day ;
NBA Press Release - April 6, 2001
Narmada Sangharsh Parikrama Started with Vigour and Enthusiasm ;
NBA Press Release - April 5, 2001
The Man Front
... But when Mr. Singh was asked by Mr. Vinod Raina of the Bhopal-based Eklavya group why his Government had arrested people who were protesting against the Man Dam and kept them in jail for 14 days, just because they wanted to draw attention to the absence of adequate rehabilitation, Mr. Singh did not have a satisfactory answer. He said the protesters, who belonged to the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) had not asked for any information. They had broken the law and therefore were arrested. He said they had been charged with a bailable offence and were in jail only because they refused to pay the bail. ...
hydro-electric project, asks CAG to investigate. Public funds from
Financial Institutions cannot cross stipulated limits ;
NBA Press Release - April 9, 2001
Water Scarcity in Gujarat
Straddling from its solar plexus, through the heart and lungs of Gujarat to its head, the Narmada main canal is a beauty. It is an engineering marvel. You can see it off the great historic cities of Gujarat -- Champaner, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Patan and on to the North. A Boeing can land on it. ... The water the critics said (still say?), will never reach North Gujarat and Saurashtra, since in large projects in India, 70 per cent of the water is lost in transport. So there are published calculations (?) to show that it will dry up by the time the Narmada main canal reaches the Mahi, for the distance of 144 kms is quite long as far as existing irrigation canals go. But the Narmada system as I have been arguing is a break with the past and I should know for I designed it. For the water that is flowing, I went and collected the actual measurements of losses, since in the Narmada distribution system, all operations are measured. ...
Narmada waters reach Gujarat villages ; The Hindu - April 2, 2001
BARODA, APRIL 1. The Narmada waters have reached 1,467 villages and 29 cities of six districts of Gujarat following completion of work on Mahi pipeline at a cost of Rs. 880 crores, the Chief Minister, Mr. Keshubhai Patel, has said. The waters were released to four districts of Saurashtra today while two other districts started getting it last month. The six districts were Baroda, Ahmedabad, Amreli, Junagadh, Bhavnagar and Rajkot. ``Such a permanent solution to the water problem, benefitting a vast population and a large stretch of land, is unparalleled in the history of Gujarat,'' Mr. Patel said adding that this would also prevent large-scale migration. The Government has taken up work on the project of supplying the river water to the districts of Kutch, Jamnagar and Surendranagar, and is expected to be completed by April-May 2002. With the river flowing through the Mahi canal-based, Vasavad- godal main pipeline, the water problem of north Gujarat and Saurashtra is expected to be solved, he added.
The Tehri Issue
THE TEHRI dam project remained suspended on Sunday as protest by the members of displaced families continued for the tenth day today. The displaced families are demanding land in place of land for their rehabilitation. These members, led by noted environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna, have been staging a sit-on the main road leading to the on-going site of the Tehri project thereby affecting the work. Hundreds of women and children staged a demonstration led by local Congress unit. K.K.Agarwal, chief project manager of the construction of Tehri project said the suspension of the work had been causing a loss of Rs 1 crore per day.
Resolve the problem ; Deccan Herald - April 6, 2001
Environmentalist in favour of small dams ; Times of India - April 6, 2001
.... Noted environmentalist and Magsaysay Award winner Chandi Prasad Bhatt said the natural resources in the Himalayan region should be used sensibly. "We need hydro-power and though the rivers flowing through the Himalayas have a vast power-generating capacity, but for that we do not need Tehri project or Parbati project. It is more important to prevent and minimise environmental degradation. It should be ensured that we do not add to the risk factors associated with natural calamities like earthquake, siltation or landslides. We must learn from the Garhwal earthquake of October 20, 1991," he said. .... He said construction of medium and big dams for irrigation and hydro-electricity generation should not be allowed in the sensitive inner Himalayas. In these areas, small projects should be encouraged, which generate electricity with minimum expenditure and cause minimum damage to environment. ....
Whose morality? ; Supriya Roy Chowdhury; The Hindu - April 7, 2001
.... There is a certain brazenness about such acts which imply that corruption is not an issue in the realm of realpolitik. In other words, it is an accepted and acceptable part of the public domain and of political practice. It is in this sense therefore that today there is an absence of a public political platform from which a genuine critique of and an attack on corruption can be mounted. Every public statement of moral indignation appears as a case of the pot calling the kettle black. It is as simple as that. But the roots of this malaise go even deeper. Possibly the most alarming aspect of the latest corruption scandal is that it has generated hardly any response from civil society. There have been very little of citizens' meetings, forums, signature campaigns, or any other manifestations of citizens' protest. It is hardly possible that there isn't a critical public, or that it doesn't care, or that it cares more about cricket than about corruption. A more real and worrying possibility is that a cynical public has little faith that corrupt politicians or administrators would be brought to book. Such a public therefore goes about its business, its cynicism deepened by each such expose. Public ethics is not something that can come into being or exist in a vacuum. It is a guide to action that is necessarily rooted in a society's institutions and broader value structure. It is the institutional and value structure that is supposed to mediate the continuous tension between individual self-interests and the public good. Wherein, then, is the source of our collective morality? What marks our society now is a deep divide between the so-called political class, and - one hesitates to use a much misused term - civil society. While a deep cynicism about politics and politicians pervades all classes of society, nevertheless it is from civil society that the most powerful sources of critique, change, and transformational energy are emerging today. Whether, as in the case of a Narmada Bachao Andolan, it is a question of challenging the state's concept of development, or the quiet struggle for social justice personified in an Aruna Roy, a message of renewal is embodied in many such examples of social praxis. There is of course a certain danger that one may romanticise the concept of civil society and its possible role in collective life. At the present time there is no bridge between the structure of realpolitik and the world of visions pursued in many unnamed corners of the societal universe, visions that are fragile and powerful at the same time. But ultimately, the question of public ethics must take root from the ethics embodied in such visions and pursuits, and then move upwards from there. Public ethics cannot emanate from a self-serving and over-stretched state system which feeds upon itself. ....
New addition to website
This page has a very short history of the Narmada Valley Development Plan and has links to pages with more information about some large dams on the river (besides the well-known Sardar Sarovar and Maheshar Dams).
New course at Stanford
This is an introductory class that aims to critically examine the arguments for and against large dams, through a combination of lectures, documentaries and discussions. It is in the form of a series of lectures given by different speakers (including economists, engineers, public policy experts, sociologists and representatives of funding agencies and environmental groups) who will address different facets of this debate in the context of diverse global developmental issues.