The water level in the Narmada Valley is increasing every second

The water level in the Narmada Valley is increasing every second. The water level has reached it’s full height I.e 138.68 meters. Many villages have been completely submerged, some have become islands and in some villages water has started entering. Now that the water has started reaching the full height of the dam, the rigging done in the survey conducted by the government is becoming clear because the water is reaching even those villages which the government had declared to be out of the submergence zone.

On 9 September 2019, the Narmada Bachao Andolan and Madhya Pradesh government, discussed during a full day meeting many issues related to rehabilitation and all the people affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam were assured immediate rehabilitation.

Today, the condition of the surface is frightening and painful. Villages, houses, goods, crops, cattle are still drowned but the sown crops are also starting to rot due to the Narmada water entering the villages. There is no drinking water nor electricity and people are trapped in islands. The status of some such villages is as follows: –

1. Village- Katnera, District Dhar

Katnera village of Kukshi Tehsil was included in the survey conducted in 2000 but not included in the 2005 survey. Today the situation, is that the land of the people of Katnera village has become an island and all paths and roads to their fields have been drowned. There is no arrangement for fodder for 10 days for all the cattle in the village. The power of the village has been cut and due to the rising water levels, there has been dirty water in the wells and drains, due to which the problem of clean drinking water has arisen.

The people of the village tried to speak to many officials but no one is ready to come to their village. In such a situation, the people of the village blocked the Khandwa Baroda State Highway today. The dharna included people from Chikhalda, Bhavaria, Raswa, Rekhti, Kadmal, Nisarpur, Bhilsur, Kharajna, Malwadi, Mulkad villages as well as cattle and bullock carts. After running the dharna for 2 hours, SDM Kukshi reached the dharna site and visited the village after hearing the problems of the people of Katnera. He also visited the roads leading to the fields which were drowned. After the tour, SDM Kukshi promised to send water tankers to the people as soon as possible to solve the problem of drinking water and assured to take immediate action on all other problems.

2. Village- Rajghat, District Barwani

Rajghat village is a village of religious importance situated on the banks of the river Narmada. More than 10 temples have been drowned. Rajghat village became an island when the water reached 133 meters. On September 10, the SDM along with the entire police team, the team of Patwaris and the team of NDRF reached Rajghat by boat and asked all the families to evacuate their houses and be moved to a safer location. NBA workers were also present on the occasion, who, citing discussions held during the agitation in Indore, asked authorities to make a panchnama and video of the families being evacuated by the police administration.

The police were not ready for this and there was a long debate with the people of the village. Finally the Barwani collector reached Rajghat and ordered the police administration to make a panchnama. The evacuation work began as soon as 40 families filed the Panchnama and some 7 families were relocated along with their household items. The administration entrusted these responsibilities to only 2 people, who were unable to move the families trapped on the island and more than 80 cattle to the tin shed. In some places, the cattle have destroyed crops in the fields. Due to such carelessness in moving the cattle, one cow was found dead today and 18 cattle ran back from the tin shed to Rajghat. After all the goods were transferred, some 7 to 8 families are still living in Rajghat.

3. Village- Kadmal, District Dhar

On September 11, people of Kadmal village came to meet SDM Kukshi and appealed to him for various problems related to rehabilitation. Whether it is the application to include 13 families out of drowning in the survey list, the grant amount of 5.80 lakhs and the list of people not getting house plots, SDM Kukshi responded positively on all such applications and villagers were assured that action would be taken soon.

4. Village- Chikhalda, District Dhar

On September 11, SDM Kukshi sent a team to Chikhalda village to conduct the survey. But the people there say that the team members surveyed only 90 people and went without surveying the remaining 100 people. These remaining people come from the Dalit and Muslim community and live at a lower level than the people who were earlier surveyed. 

While Mahatma Gandhi is revered around the world and while the Indian Government is preparing for his 150th Jayanti, the actions of the Government tell a different story.  On 27 July 2017, his bust was uprooted and was transported in a garbage cart. This time around Gandhi Ji, like 15,946 families, was also submerged in the Narmada. This could not be tolerated by the people of Chikhalda and they took the responsibility of raising his statue above the water level. This difficult task was completed by the villagers without any help from the government, which is still apathetic towards the plight of the people.
5. Village- Segawa, District Barwani

In Segawa village of Barwani district, water is rising from all sides, due to which the village is going to become an island. There are 89 families in the village out of which only 24 families have been compensated. Out of this, some are to get house plots, others must get compensation for their houses.

The water has entered the village through the centre, and the village has been divided into two, and people are forced to travel in small boats. If the water level continues to rise, then even small boats will not be able to move. Electricity and water connections have been cut. The villagers are forced to remain submerged due to house plot and pending compensation. There is an imminent risk of walls collapsing people and cattle being killed.

Administration officials are coming to get the house vacated, but the demands of residents are not being taken care of. If the water level does not decrease, the roads will be closed from all the four sides and the villagers will not even have a way to get out of Segwa.

6. Village- Eklavara, District Dhar

150 houses have been submerged in Eklavara village of Dhar district, out of which 20 families are to receive benefits. These 20 families have been forced into 10 * 12’s tin shed. Many of them are joint families and many families also have cattle together.

There are 180 families of Eklavara who were told to drown. Today water has reached their homes. They have neither been surveyed, nor have they received any compensation nor any other benefit because the government said that water will not come here. But today when the sinking has reached their threshold, they are demanding compensation and other benefits for their homes. Along with water, earthquake tremors are felt in the village day and night. A two-edged sword hangs over the villagers. Despite having seismicity meters in Barwani, the administration has nothing to say on this issue. In such a situation, the people of Madhya Pradesh are being asked to vacate the village by filling the Panchnama.

 On 15th September Surendra Singh Baghel,  Minister of Tourism Department and Narmada Valley Development Department of Madhya Pradesh visited Ekalvara to discuss the problems faced by the people here. The 19 families, who were not surveyed by the authorities before, were assured by the minister of a survey as soon as possible. Water has entered inside some of these 19 houses, weakening their structure and destroying their walls. Amidst such risk of houses collapsing people are struggling to get their belongings out of the water and into a safe place. We request the Madhya Pradesh Government to speed up the process of surveying and deploy more boats and manpower at such submerged places so as to avoid any mishappenings.

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 24374535 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : | [email protected]

Twitter : @napmindia


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