The shocking statement by the chief minister of Gujarat has sent waves across the Narmada Valley. The level of falsehood involved in the decision taken by NCA on the closure of Sardar Sarovar gates is unprecedented. It is as per news, the decision taken by all the states concerned that since the Resettlement and Rehabilitation of the Project Affected Families is over, especially in Madhya Pradesh, which is the state having completed R&R task at the earliest, the gates can be closed and water can be filled up to 138.68 meters.
All the documents including the official reports and affidavits before the Supreme Court, the thousands of orders by the Grievance Redressal Authorities in MP and Maharashtra as well as Gujarat which are not complied with, the violations of the legal regimes with NWDTA, state level R&R policies and the SC judgements are the clear indication of the fact that thousands in MP and hundreds in Maharashtra and Gujarat are far from resettled, why talk of rehabilitation.
At least 40000 families and 2.5 lakh people reside in the 192 villages of MP and 1 township who are declared as “project affected”. They are to be forcibly removed, if they do not move out with whatever they have received as R&R benefits, even though incomplete and partial, as per the public announcements by CM of MP and higher officials since last few months. There are continuous protests going on in each of the affected districts and villages in Badwani, Dhar, and Khargone. It’s obvious and clear from the recent writ petition filed before the Indore High Court that even the latest order of the SC if not complied with, neither are the R&R sites ready with all civic amenities mandatory under the law for which tenders are being issued and work has not even commenced at any sites. The disbursement of the new package in lieu of land, directed by the SC is far from complete. A few thousand applications by the eligible beneficiaries are pending before the GRA, MP. Hundreds are pending before the GRA, Maharashtra, and GRA, Gujarat too.
In such a situation to create a watery grave and drown the houses, farms, schools, shops, temples and mosques etc would be inhumane and barbaric, criminal in the eyes of law.
To agree with the decision of Gujarat government rather the PM and not to represent the case of the PAFs from MP is an act indicating the shameless political surrender before Modi Government and Gujarat, for whom they are not just sacrificing their lives, livelihoods of the affected but rich tree cover, heritage and river, the mother herself. This is more of a contradiction after so much euphoria created through Narmada SewaYatra.
The valley is not just shocked but infuriated, the PAFs are to burn the effigy of the government that is for them dead and non-existent. People of the Valley are determined to fight against the evil forces which are anti-farmers, anti-development, anti-land itself!
Madhuresh, Himshi, Ankita