– Indefinite Dharna until demands of the displaced are met.

15 April | Nasik : Hundreds of adivasis displaced from their original lands in Maharashtra due to the Sardar Sarovar project stormed into the Divisional Commissioner’s Office, Nasik and challenged the administration to meet their demands.

Commencing the indefinite siege, Nurji Padvi demanded to know that while the life-threatening exercise of increasing the dam height from 122 mts. to 139 mts. has begun, where is the government that represents the affected people?

“Our land is submerged since 1993-94 due to the Sardar Sarovar Dam and till today we haven’t received land-for-land, and even then, the height is being increased. Which judiciary has sanctioned the government for this dastardly act?” Punya Vasave, Sarpanch of Somaval Rehabilitation asked.

Commissioner, Shri Eknath Davle is out to Mumbai for a meeting, hence about 400 adivasi men and women have decided to wait for him on the first floor of the building. It has been declared that until issues related to rehabilitation, land-for-land, forest rights and corruption in employment matters are duly discussed and solved, the people won’t leave.

Even after several meetings, the list of oustees is not final. On what basis has the permission for dam height increase been given when 1200 families still wait to be rehabilitated? Maharashtra has no right over the water, and crores of investment has been made only for electricity that it can get from the project. Gujarat itself is only using no more than 20% of the water from the dam because it has not built adequate canals. In these circumstances, what is the justification for increasing the dam height and endangering lands and lives of adivasis of Maharshtra?

Last 30 years of struggle, hunger strikes, jal satyagrahas have at least ensured land for 10,000 – 11,000 families. But even today more than 40,000 families in Madhya Pradesh face the threat of submergence and 1200 families in Maharashtra haven’t been rehabilitated. In such desperate circumstances, oustees had to recourse to direct action apart from the judicial battle that they’ve been fighting.

The ancient heritage of Narmada valley, its forests and trees inspires the protestors and their songs and slogans raised the story of inhuman injustice meted to the Valley. The office was covered in banners. The programme turned into a people’s parliament. Ration and employment officers were called for a discussion and true incidents of corruption in each village narrated. Discussions are on…

Yogini | Latika | Vijay Valvi | Chetan Salve | Nurji Padvi | Punya Vasave | Medha Patkar

Contact – 9423944390


NAPM India