Dear Saaathis,

You all must have got the word by now …Narmada is in serious crisis …Not just the people and the environemnt, but the very project itself today…And unjust politics is also at its peak again …This is the last and critical leg of the SSP battle…

Thousands of us are to embark on an indefinite mass action of Narmada from April 11th and sit before the Narmada Control Authority from the 13th at Indore. The situation is very serious and highly politicized, since even as there are 2 lakh adiavasis, farmers, fish workers, labourers yet to be rehabilitated in the submergence area, only corruption has increased ten-fold and gross environmental non-compliance has been exposed by the latest Devender Pandey Committee. But setting all this aside, the Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat Governments hand in glove are trying to violate all laws and Supreme Court judgements and apparently the Environment Sub Group has cleared decks for erecting the last leg of the 17mts high gates ..Moves will be fast-paced to illegally pressurize the R&R Sub Group and NCA also to give clearance

All of this is happening even when questions are being raised in Gujarat’s Assembly and by numerous people’s organizations and socially conscious Gujaratis on the failed Sardar Sarovar Project With just 10% of the waters having been utilized, only 30% canals built over 30 years and 1.5 lakh hectares of irrigation as against 8 lakh hectares promised at this height, the costs today are 10 times higher and benefits only 1/10th. The Project cost today is 45,000 crores and the CAG has made scathing inditement of gross misutilization of funds, and Gujarat is still seeking 39,000 crores from the Planning Commission, sans efeciency, accountability and justice.

What is needed today is not funds and clearance, but review and rehabilitation. The upcoming march is to demand this ….If any of you can make it to Badwani on 11th or anytime to Indore after 13th, it would indeed be wonderful..We also request you to do all that is possible to save the valley and influence political opinion towards law and justice…

Attcahed is an Invite / Appeal and we eagerly look forward to your presence and support ..

With regards and in solidarity,
Medha Patkar
and NBA team


STARTS APRIL 11TH ONWARDS…Badwani to Indore ….

With the politics on Narmada reaching its peak, yet again, there are enormous pressures on the central authorities including the Planning Commission, not only to sanction funds, but also to clear way for raising the Sardar Sarovar Dam to its final height which would also raise the submergence level from 122.92 mts (the present) to 138. 68 mts, erecting 17 mts high gates! If this happens, the densely populated villages and township with standing crop and horticulture with pakka houses and the remaining lands of adivasis who have already faced submergence since 90s will be pushed under waters. Lakhs or even millions of trees will be destroyed amidst the tall talk of climate change all over!

All such severe blows to the life, ecology and agro-economy, culture and communities in this oldest of the civilizations in the world will become irreversible if there is an irrational push given to this giant dam, with least compliance on rehabilitation and environmental measures…While 40,000+ families are still in the submergence area, thousands of families in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat are yet to get land-based rehabilitation. These include those adivasis who have lost land and homes as also the fish workers, potters, landless labourers, small traders, artisans and others who are entitled to alternative livelihood.

The most revealing story of environmental compliance is also out in the open now with the Devender Pandey Committee’s Report (February 2010), assessing the situation pertaining to various environmental safeguard measures, such as command area development, catchment area treatment, compensatory Afforestation, health impacts etc. and concluding that in the face of gross violations and serious non-compliance, there shall be no construction on the dam and canals and no irrigation in the situation of no final plans for command area development.

In Madhya Pradesh, corruption of more than 300 crores in various aspects of rehabilitation; including fake land registers, payments of rehabilitation grants to the ineligible persons and exclusion of eligible, compensation to ineligible properties, corruption in house plot allotment and flawed enumeration of backwater levels etc is under investigation by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which is functioning despite a hostile political climate and will to tackle the corruption.

‘No Land, No Dam’ is a slogan that always resonated in the valley since eighties. We, the adivasis from the hilly areas, who have been losing our land and houses to these giant projects for years now, but still continue to occupy our place in higher reaches of the hills, express our continued and stronger resolve to fight for our rights. Others in the densely populated village communities with the best of agriculture and horticulture can’t be “ousted” and “drowned” and doomed as well. We are not leaving our homeland and will continue to struggle against the injustices foisted on us. Our share in the development must be assured, including land, houses and livelihood to those eligible as per law and the principles of justice.

Along with the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar will also march hundreds of adivasis and farmers affected and displaced by Jobat, Goi and Gomai dams and the canals of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar canals, who are asserting their right to rehabilitation and are resisting unjust acquisition of their irrigated lands.

People of the valley can’t wait any more! Those of us, who were compelled to climb up the hills and mountain ranges of Satpuda and Vindhyas can’t remain hanging when our lands and houses have gone under water. While the Narmada struggle enters the 25th year of its journey, men, women and children will continue to move ahead. Dam height can’t be furthered nor can the living communities be drowned and their rights trampled. While SSP is the only dam where about 11,000 families have received land for land, thousands still remain to get their entitlement and Government of M.P, Maharashtra and Gujarat can’t continue to remain callous and disown any responsibility. Right to fisheries in the reservoir must be granted to the displaced fish workers. Potters must also get their share of land to ensure their livelihood. The canal-affected families must also be ensured full rehabilitation, as per the R&R Policy.

Displacement, destruction of livelihoods and environment not only by dams but by other infrastructure projects too is a result of resource grab today. Narmada to Nandigram, Posco to Vedanta and the ‘Special Exploitation Zones’ are all not just symbolic, but are a substantial back lash of the flawed paradigm of development. In this context with utmost humility and responsibility, the struggle in the Sardar Sarovar affected area is to be taken ahead through this march for Justice.

We demand rights to rights to land, water, forest, minerals, fish, life and livelihood and supporters of these struggles to join in this march for justice.

Let us, together, demand an immediate review of the costs and benefits of the Sardar Sarovar Project, which has delivered just 10% of the promised benefits and has costed 10 times the approved estimates, with irreversible the social and environmental losses.

Join us with your banners, songs and slogans a
s participants, as supporters in solidarity and be the soldiers of the life long struggle – past and future.

Yours in solidarity,

Kailash Awasya Ghokru Bhilala Ratanbhai Khemabhai Kamla Yadav Ranveer Tomar
(Bhilkheda) (Bhadal) (Sugat) (Jobat) (Chhota Barda) (Semalda)

Siyaram Padvi Ramanbhai Pinjaribai Punya Padvi Shanta Yadav Mohan Patidar
(Danel) (Parveta) (Sikka) (Somaval) (Pipri) (Bhavaria)

Details of the March:
The Indefinite action of hundreds of the displaced is to begin from Badwani (the district place) in Madhya Pradesh on the 11th of April and shall traverse a distance of 200 kilometers and reach Indore by road on the 13th.
At Indore, we shall undertake a mass sit-in before the Narmada Control Authority until our demands for justice are met.
· You may either plan to reach Badwani on the 10th or directly Indore on the 13th.
· Badwani is 5 hours by road from Indore, Khandwa, Dhule and Baroda stations.

Your involvement in any manner in the upcoming action is indeed welcome and we hope you will BE WITH US in this challenge that has fallen upon us.

For further information kindly contact:
Ashish Mandloi Yogini Khanolkar Geetanjali Chavan Chetan Salve Medha Patkar

(07290-222464) (09423944390) (09423965152) (09420375730) (9424076624)
Other Contacts:
è Madhuresh: 09818905316 (Delhi) è Philip: 09446456616 (Kerala)
è Simpreet: 09969363065 (Mumbai) è Shrikanth: 09179148973 (Narmada)
è Pervin Jehangir: 09820636335 (Mumbai) è Shyam Patil: 094239496020 (Dhule) è Suniti S.R: 094235717854 (Pune)