NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN
Narmada-Ashish, Off Kasravad Road, Navalpura, Badwani, M.P – 451551
Ph: 07290-291464 / 09179148973;E-mail: email@example.com
For Immediate Release April 11th, 2011
NARENDRA MODI’S ILLEGAL PRESSURE AND PUSH TO SSP UNJUSTIFIABLE
SARDAR SAROVAR WITH 10 TIMES COSTS AND ONLY 10% BENEFITS NEEDS REVIEW: NOT FUNDS, NOR PERMISSION
Mr. Narendra Modi’s appeal to the Prime Minister to permit raising height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSP) by 17 mts to reach a final height of 138.68 mts is once again an attempt to pressurize the PM and also the Central Ministries to flout laws and judgements of the Apex Court as also to mislead the people of Gujarat and especially the Kutch region with unrealistic promises and no real facts and benefits.
Mr. Modi knows well that the Project is not cleared on the social and environmental grounds by the respective sub-groups of the Narmada Control
Authority, as per the directives of the Supreme Court in 2000. He cannot and should not, therefore, bring political pressures on the Prime Minister to clear the Project or seek further funds.
Sardar Sarovar Dam has been at a standstill since 2006, after reaching a height of 122 mts since the resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) of 2,00,000 and more people; adivasis, farmers and fisher people in densely populated communities is still pending in the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and there is no cultivable land located by the Government of Madhya Pradesh and inadequate land available with Maharashtra.
Corruption worth 500 crores in R&R in Madhya Pradesh is under investigation by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, since 2008, indicating the fact that thousands of families are yet to receive their entitlements and hence their lands and properties cannot be submerged, without full R&R is ensured. None else, but the Prime Minister had vowed his commitment through his special letter to the Hon’ble Apex Court, during an indefinite fast and agitation by the Narmada Bachao Andolan in April, 2006 to comply with the Narmada Tribunal Award, ensuring rehabilitation of all the oustees before any further clearance.
The said promise based on a legal mandate is yet to be fulfilled and it would, therefore, be a contempt of Court by the PM himself if he permits any further construction and raising the height without comprehensive review of the situation. The Apex Court’s judgments also require clearance by the Rehabilitation Sub Group and Environmental Sub Group of NCA as well as consent by the Grievance Redressal Authorities of the 3 states for any further clearance to the Project.
The Chief Minister of Gujarat is certainly concealing the reality full of non-compliance and legal violations from the people of Gujarat to once again
arouse their hope in this Utopian Project. The CM, while inaugurating the works on the Kutch Branch Canal after 32 years since the Narmada Tribunal gave its Award has not disclosed the fact that the State has unjustifiably delayed the canal work and the farmers of Gujarat have opposed massive land acquisition for canals since the command area development work, pre-conditional to canal construction work is neither fully planned nor approved by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, as yet. The MoEF’s Expert Committee, chaired by Dr. D. Pandey has also brought out serious violations on environmental conditions such as catchment area treatment, compensatory afforestation, downstream impacts facing fish workers of Gujarat, impacts on flora, fauna and health impacts of the Project.
While Mr. Modi has managed to seek investment clearance without all this, from the Chairman, Planning Commission, the CAG Reports over the past few years have brought out misuse of the AIBP funds and hence the canal network could not be completed beyond 20% over 30 full years. While the CM is offering a pipedream of water to Kutch, let it be known to them that even today the Government of Gujarat and the Sardar Saovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) have not been using more than 10-20% of the water already ponded in the reservoir, which has taken a toll of the adivasis’ lands, forest and habitats from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
In fact the Project is to cost 70,000 crore rupees (by 2012), as per the estimates of the Planning Commission, instead of 6400 crores initially
sanctioned and hence this unplanned investment has made the SSNNL fully indebted and has also sapped Gujarat’s own resources at the cost of many other projects that would bring the benefits much early, with reliability. Gujarat’s people have a right to know this reality.
It is, therefore, grossly unjustifiable to destroy the best of agriculture and horticulture and densely populated communities in M.P and the lands and resources of adivasis in the other two states without even rehabilitation, in the name of water for Gujarat and Kutch. The people of Kutch must demand an explanation as to why the waters have not reached till date and cannot reach even till 2014.
We would like to appeal and warn the PM and the Planning Commission, not to be a party to the illegality and inhumanity that would be furthered, if any clearance would be granted towards investment and construction on the Sardar Sarovar Project, in the present circumstances, till all the social and environmental conditions are fulfilled.
Medha Patkar Kailash Awasya Vijay Valvi
Narmada Bachao Andolan