March 30, 2011
The displaced people of the Narmada valley have long argued that the states and the Centre have shortchanged them – ignoring the claims of many, offering uncultivable land in exchange, and going ahead with dam construction even before they are resettled. A recent Supreme Court verdict proves they were right all along, says Medha Patkar.
Late last month, the Supreme Court of India gave its judgment in the case of Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Project affected Adivasis from the two villages of Picchodi and Jalsindhi (both in Madhya Pradesh) versus the Government of Madhya Pradesh and other authorities. The Court has indicated its very clear position on the interpretation of the Narmada Tribunal Award, the rights of the Project Affected Families (PAFs) as well as the Supreme Court’s own earlier judgment of 2000. It is also important to understand that the judgment conveys a serious message as to the ground reality vis-à-vis the false paperwork related to resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) of families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam. This order has many implications which are neither to be exaggerated nor underestimated. Intriguing are also the reactions from within Gujarat from the official quarters and the media. The latter seem to have done little or no homework.
Major Sons: The judgment brings out clearly that every major son of a landholder losing more than 25% of his/her landholding should be considered as a separate family and, as per the Tribunal’s Award, they are entitled to two hectares of land each. This would necessitate that the Government of MP must take this as a legal and policy measure and plan to provide such land to the major sons.
However, GOMP has not even recorded all the major sons in the 193 affected villages of MP (cut off date being the year of issue of Section 4 notice under Land Acquisition Act); this will have to be done especially since many villages have had land acquisitions processes that started in 2000 and thereafter. The number of major sons is in many thousands. There are many major sons in every village, for e.g. 300 in Ekkalbara, 120 in Bhavaria (both district Dhar) and so on. The government will then have to locate land for all those eligible for land and house plots for all. Thousands of them are in the communities and areas affected at a dam height of 110 metres, and need to be rehabilitated right now before the dam proceeds any further.
In Maharashtra, the government has followed a policy of allotting one hectare to a major son, but with this interpretation of the NWDT Award by the Supreme Court, this is applicable to Maharashtra as well, and hence one more hectare land needs to be allotted to all those already resettled and 2 hectares to all those remaining to be resettled. This will require a large amount of land in Maharashtra too. Gujarat has already taken the right kind of policy decision and will only have to provide entitlement to those who are not recognized as major sons, whether at the original resettlement sites or in the original village.
Temporary and permanent submergence: The judgment also clearly reinforces what is clear from the definition of ‘oustee’ in the NWDTA: that there can be no distinction between the temporarily and permanently affected families at intermediate stages of the dam height. This takes the MP government’s numbers of PAF’s back to original position (before they started making this illegal distinction) and estimation that was presented before the Supreme court, prior to 2000 and in reports till 2002 but later turned around and reduced, leaving out thousands of families to be rehabilitated later. The post-judgment position (which was pre 2002) is that the number of PAFs at 110 mts in 12681 PLUS major sons that would be added. This is much higher than the false figures of 5607 or 8406 used after 2002. Out of 12681, at least 8000 PAFs PLUS newly added major sons (as PAF’s) are to get some or all of their dues – land for the eligible house plot, compensation for the house, alternative site with amenities – and hence cannot be considered as rehabilitated as per the Award. These 110 mts-affected families still reside in the original villages, even though their lands, homes, property is already affected or is under threat to be affected at any point.
In ihr finden austausch, kooperation und politisches wirken der gleichstellungsbeauftragten auf landesebene bachelorarbeit schreiben lassen erfahrung statt.