For three decades and more the people from Narmada Valley have faced the wrath of the hegemonic development, global capital and the violence of the State in the name of greater common good and the sacrifices people of Narmada Valley have been asked to make. We have stood the ground along with the supporters from all over the country and many other parts of the world. We have succeeded in many of the struggles – kicking the World Bank out from the funding of the Sardar Sarovar Dam; getting land based rehabilitation for 14500 families; landmark judgements with implications for many other similar cases; bringing displacement issue on the political agenda; developing a critique of the current development paradigm; and contributing to the struggle to repeal the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 and enactment of the 2013 Land Act.
In these 31 years, there have been moments when everyone felt we will be defeated but we have not been defeated. There have moments of despair but we have stood our ground of truth and justice. We have stood against the adversities and managed to revive our movement and kept it relevant until the justice is achieved for the people of Narmada Valley.
You have been with us in all these moments. The time has come again, when the BJP government in Centre, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat have together formed an unholy alliance of lies and web of deceit to drown thousands of families from the 192 villages and one town by closing the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. We have exposed their lies of complete R & R, proved as recently by the February judgement of SC, but callous as they are, they violate every order of the SC and many orders of Grievance Redressal Authority, in Madhya Pradesh even today the Resettlement sites remain incomplete. There is almost zero environmental compliance in the submergence area. A few hundred families in Maharashtra are yet to be resettled with land and new sites to be established and those resettled in Gujarat years ago are on the roads asking for their due rights which still remain unfulfilled.
The latest update from the valley is that the police and revenue officials with vehicles are plying into the village after village with drone cameras to photograph long distance visuals, obviously to plan the upcoming attack. They are facing questions and wrath of people who are not ready to move out without all rehabilitation and entitlement. However the Govt of Madhya Pradesh has already announced that they will evict 8200 families from district Badwani, 6132 families from district Dhar, tens of families from Khargone… which are underestimates. All this without even full compliance with the latest order of Supreme Court that directs complete rehabilitation and vacating the lands on receiving the cash packages by farmers. The landless are not granted any special relief and both the landholders and the landless from communities with various social, cultural sites and public services functional till date cannot move out into “tin sheds” that is being imposed by the government with force.
Thirty-one years on and every prediction of ours has come true. The Dam has brought in devastation in the downstream; the communities with forest and farmland upstream have been destroyed and impoverished; the profits have been pocketed by the rich corporates and diverted for the benefits of the urban centers; neither the MP nor Maharashtra is not getting a single drop of water from Sardar Sarovar while it’s reserved for Coca-Cola, Adanis and Ambanis. Gujarat’s own farmers are on the streets condemning the same. MP does not require any electricity with access produced and hence many power plants closed but even then they want to close the gates and drown everyone. This is illegal, Unjust and completely unconstitutional.
We cannot allow this. We are challenging this injustice, as we have done this always and we know you will be with us as you always have been.
Do come and join us on the World’s Environment Day, June 5th till June 7th , 2017 for the “Rallyfor the Valley” to stand with the thousands of people of Narmada Valley who have been fighting for their rights; a fight against the hegemony, devastation in the name of development, corporate loot of natural resources and to protect their life that comes from Narmada.
After the official ‘Narmada Seva Yatra’ ended with a fanfare, after having spent crores of rupees and made flimsy announcements, this Yatra by concerned citizens, eminent activists to artists, researchers and youngsters, farmers and labourers will bring forth the truth and challenge the falsehood, no doubt.
We await your arrival in the valley with your own statements, resolutions, banners and anything that you think would support this struggle at this critical time.
For further details Contact: Rahul – 9179617513 | Himshi- 9867348307