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Sardar Sarovar Project: Panel of judges finds violations of SC judgments, rights of people
Hindustan Times, Sep 12 2015, Bhopal: A panel of four retired judges on Saturday said they found gross violations of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award (NWDTA) and judgments of the Supreme Court related to Sardar Sarovar project while offering rehabilitation and resettlement to the people affected by the project.
The panel of judges that conducted an independent people’s tribunal at Rajghat in Badwani district announced their interim findings at end of a day long presentation of pleas, complaints and documents by affected people. The tribunal was organised as part of the month long ‘Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha’ (rights to life sit-in) of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA).
Representatives of various state government agencies concerned including the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) did not attend the tribunal despite invitation, Meera of NBA told HT.
The judges included Justice PC Jain (Rajasthan High Court), Justice Nag Mohan Das (Karnataka High Court) and Justice VD Gyani (Madhya Pradesh High Court) and Justice NK Mody (Madhya Pradesh High Court).
The panel expressed grave concern at the displacement of about 2.5 lakh people due to the completion of the dam with increased height and the mass violation of the constitutional right to life, destruction of livelihoods, as also wiping out of an entire culture and civilization, the NBA said.
They stated that the further dam work and installation of gates should not proceed in the present circumstances as there is clear evidence of multiple violations.
“The concerned authorities have miserably failed to comply with the provisions of the NWDTA and the Apex court’ orders and have committed serious dereliction of legal obligations. There should be serious review of the entire situation and a serious social-economic impact assessment,” the panel observed.
The final report of the panel is expected after a fortnight.
Earlier in the day, representatives of tribal people, farmers, landless oustees, fish workers, potters, boatmen, small traders from MP, Maharashtra and Gujarat made their representations before the tribunal. They also presented scores of documents to prove their point of incomplete rehabilitation.
Soumya Dutta, one of the members of the recent fact-finding team to the Narmada valley (May, 2015), shared findings before the tribunal.
Earlier on Friday, three members of the judges panel conducted visit of affected villages in Badwani and Dhar districts.