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Narmada Bachao Andolan countered the NVDA’s claim of fully completing Rehabilitation work at Indore High Court Today

More than 300 Oustees protested at Narmada Control Authority demanding Just Rehabilitaion   

7 September 2017, Indore: Today the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Indore heard the Writ petition related to the non- compliance of the Supreme Court order dated 8th Feb 2017, filed by the displaced persons from Sardar Sarovar project submergence area in the Narmada Valley. The case was heard today on various aspects which were covered in the compliance report by the MP govt. and the Narmada Valley Development Authority. Narmada Bachao Andolan has countered the claim that R&R is complete and as per the Supreme Court’s order all the civic amenities, mandatory to be provided to all oustees under the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award are already existing, functional and available.  Narmada Bachao Andolan questioned the numbers of affected families residing in this submergence area and claimed that those who were granted new packages by the SC of 60 lacks and 15 lacks belonging to different categories are already disbursed.


The contention of Andolan is that about 50% of the PAF’s who are entitled to the packages of the SC are yet to receive those and the files are pending before GRA. It is also claimed that the number of eligible Project Affected Families (PAF) for 15 lacks rupees’ package i.e. the number of those who are duped in the fake registry scam was provided by the Madhya Pradesh Narmada Authorities before the Supreme Court and the SC had accepted that number saying this can be increased as this is tentative and those similarly situated can also approach GRA and get their benefits. However, NVDA on its own has reduced the number of 1358 to 993 in some affidavits of NCA has reported it to be 943 as well. This is contempt of the court and the NBA challenged it. Much more is before the HC on the issue of amenities at resettlement sites in the form of documents and data is filed related to civic amenity at the 88 R&R sites by the MP govt and Narmada Authority. First and the foremost they have produced glossy photographs of the sites without exhibiting the details of no drainage around the roads, bridged drains and pipes. Culverts which are spent huge amount on, but not functional and used for preventing water logging, total lack of an adequate supply of drinking water and domestic water, why talk about the water for constructive houses in thousands so on and so forth.

NBA has submitted its comments on the photographs of certain sites, showing that even the buildings which are constructed with colours put up recently are in dilapidated condition, it seen from within, from inside and structurally weak as it reported in details by the MANIT and IIT report which was done with detailed investigations for Justice Jha commission. The compliance report submitted by NVDA to GRA following the directives of the Supreme Court order and the GRA’s generalised order that NVDA should fulfil the gaps in the amenities and file a report before the GRA itself. NBA has challenged the compliance report which provides site wise information only related to four amenities and not all listed in the tribunal award. NBA have provided its own assessment of amenities which are either non-existent or non-functional at most of the sites. The MANIT, IIT report investigation and conclusions clearly shows that many of the buildings are to be demolished and rebuilt which was not done over 3 years since the report was submitted and 8 years since the dam work was stayed. Even the water treatment plants from which the authority has claimed water is taken for a large village like Nisarpur is not truly reported. There is about 60% pipelines not yet placed in Nisarpur resettlement sites reserved for more than 300 thousand families in 5 villages. It is very obvious that the claims are not truthful and even the basic amenities like water is not ensured 100 %. NBA has claimed that the tribunal award in the list of amenities refers to the House plot to be allotted to each PAF eligible for the same which should be area by 60/90 feet and yet through the latest govt orders and new packages the plots allotted to both eligible and non-eligible families are of the size 20/90 feet which is 1/3 of the size accepted by the tribunal. This is in violation of the Tribunal Award as well as the R&R policy of the state of MP, NBA has contended in its response to the compliance report filed by NVDA.

R&R as per the law policy and SC judgements is a right of the oustees and a part of right to life. Various documents and directives have clearly show that R&R includes or consist of agricultural lands to the land owners and a source of livelihood to the land owners and a source of livelihood for the landless as per eligibility. Along with a house plot of the size approved by the tribunal and with all the civic amenities are entitled to receive. Such R&R complete in itself is not accrued by the oustees and hence last but not the least aspect of R&R is shifting to the new site, that too is bound to happen at least 6 months before submergence of any families, properties can’t said to be complete and this is the case with thousands of families residing in the original villages because they can’t move out and resettle at new site without the basic amenities be available even therein.

This legal framework NBA has claimed is violated and hence the submergence of the properties of thousands. Hearing all this and the fact that GRA with retired High Court judges as members and chairmen has not passed any order on the complaint application filed by not less than 40 PAFs for whom plots are reserved at 40 R&R sites and that GRA has also not issued any notice nor has heard them. The divisional bench of Justice P.K. Jaiswal and Justice  Virendra Singh passed an order that GRA respondent number 4, should take to investigation into the complaint applications and pass orders on the issue of civic amenities  mandatorily be provided at the R&R sites to the Sardar Sarovar oustees. He has given them 15days time to do so. Former general advocate Anand Mohan Mathur Ji pleaded the case on behalf of the writ petitioners and said that the situation is critical and when the Prime Minister is celebrating his victory on completing the SSP on 17th of September on the dam sites, the dead bodies of the MP farmers would be gifted for the ceremony. He first also pleaded for an independent committee with a retired  HC judge and other expert members to be appointed by the divisional bench that can give its report on the situation of civic amenities. The divisional bench however finalised investigation as the GRA’s role and responsibility and directed them to look into the matter.


Medha Patkar was present as intervener herself and narrated in brief the situation on the ground in the valley. Adv. Mathur was assisted by Adv. Pratyush Mishra who also pleaded some of the aspects and Adv. Abhinav too. The bench expresses its conclusion on decision but order is yet to be in the public domain.

Today around 300 people from Narmada Valley protested in front of Narmada Control Authority. The oustees along with Medha Patkar questioned the silence of NCA. People from different villages raised the issue of poor rehabilitation sites and that the R&R sites lack even the basic amenities like water, house plots on slops and pits, roads, electricity etc. People have also questioned that NCA officials for not carrying out proper survey but instead quite often they observed NCA officials just roaming around villages without any work and interaction with people in ground. Over the long silence of NCA officials, people have also questioned that do we conclude that NCAs silence is at par with the corrupt practices as NVDA. After prolong discussion with NCA, people of Narmada Valley have demanded NCA in strong voice to visits valley in coming week and to submit a proper report and also to take a stand against the wrong reports.

 Kamla Yadav, Rahul Yadav, Bhagirath Dhangar, Sanober Bi, Ranveer Tomar, Mukesh Bhagoria, Rohit Singh, Kamendra Singh, Himshi Singh


Contact: Rahul Yadav (9179617513) | Himshi Singh (9867348307)

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