Conterview, Nov 8 2015, Gujarat: New facts have come to light suggesting that Gujarat’s Narmada dam oustees, who, it was claimed, had been given the best resettlement package than anywhere in India, are facing eviction. The result is, the oustees have begun protest moves at several places.
Following eviction notices to 23 tribal families from the original village Karda, resettled at Amroli in Naswadi taluka of the Chhotaudepur district, about 100 of the members of the families, including women, children and the elderly, have begun a protest fast.
The anti-dam organization Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), in touch with these tribals, said, “As the original villages were submerged because of the dam, many of these families were brought here two decades ago and were permitted by the Gujarat government to reside in and cultivate the lands. The same oustees are now being branded as encroachers and are being asked to quit.”
Calling this an “unworkable approach, since the GRA sends back cases to the state agency meant for resettling Narmada oustees, Sardar Sarovar Punarvasahat Agency (SSPA), which itself takes 70 days”, the NBA said, among those on dharna include an 80-year-old man who also insisted to sit on fast. This elderly tribal fell very ill and had to be admitted to the hospital.
The NBA said, “This list includes even those families who were rightfully declared as project affected families (PAFs) and there is no reason or justification to evict them. Moreover, their farms, houses in the original villages are either submerged or have been inaccessible, over the years.”