Huge rally of Narmada dam oustees in Bhopal


  • NBA PR: 28th June 2013Jeevan Adhikar satyagraha and Upwaas begins with demand for rehabilitation and resettlement

    Thousands of oustees affected by the Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Upper Beda and Man dam demonstrated in capital city Bhopal today and began their Satyagrah. Despite continuous rain in the entire Narmada valley, over 8000 men and women displaced persons have reached Bhopal to camp here for the next 5 days. The affected people demand that all the oustees of these dams should be rehabilitated and resettled with land and all other entitlements, and the injustice being wreaked on them for decades be stopped. Shri Alok Agarwal, senior activist of the Narmada Bacahao Andolan along with 4 men and women oustees have started their fast for 5 days in this “Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha and Upwaas”.

    Thousands of oustees marched from Yadgaar –e – Shahjahani Park through Moti Masjid, and gave a Memorandum to the Chief Minister in front of Kamla Park, and then moved to Neelam Park to begin their satyagraha and upwaas. For five days during the “Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha and Upwaas”, Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Shri Alok Agarwal, along with Omkareshwar dam oustees Sakubai and Kalabai, Maheshwar dam oustee Bhagwati bai, and Indira Sagar dam oustee Shri Kishor Chauhan would be on fast and they have already begun their fast.

    It is noteworthy that as per the common R&R Policy of the Government of Madhya Pradesh for the oustees of the Omkareshwar, Indira Sagar, Maheshwar, Man and Beda dams, the oustees have to be allotted land and other benefits of the R&R Policy, and resettled well before submergence. But there was no compliance with the R&R Policy, because of which the oustees reached a pitiable state. In its Order and judgment dated 11.05.2011, the Supreme Court gave a finding that the State Government had not offered land to even a single oustee, and had not fulfilled any of its obligations under the R&R Policy, because of which 89% of the displaced farmers could not purchase any land. The Supreme Court directed that the R&R Policy must be strictly followed for all these dams. However the thousands of oustees of these dams have been denied their rights under the R&R Policy, especially the right to be allotted land with a minimum of 2 ha. of irrigated land.

    Recently, the State Government has announced a grant of Rs. 2.5 lakhs to the landless families of the Omkareshwar dam. But the condition that the landless families would have to break their houses by the 15th of July in the middle of the monsoons in order to obtain the grant was both inhuman and impossible. It is clear that this condition must be immediately set aside. It is also noteworthy that the additional package of Rs. 2 lakhs per acre announced by the Chief Minister for the farmers of the Omkareshwar dam is not for an entitlement of 5 acres or at market value of land. Because of this, the displaced farmers will not be able to purchase land for land with a minimum of 2 ha. of land, as per the R&R Policy.
    The State Government has also not provided any land for the landholders or grant for the landless families of the Indira Sagar, Maheshwar, Man and Veda dams, and these rights remain to be provided.

    The oustees of these dams have lost their homes, villages, lands, and culture and have been completely pauperized. Their demand is:
    1. The farmers of the Omkareshwar, Indira Sagar, Maheshwar, Man and Beda dams must be provided land to the extent of land acquired, with a minimum of 2 ha, of land, or they should be assisted to purchase these entitlements.
    2. Every landless family of each of these dams should be provided Rs. 2.5 lakhs, and a time period of 6 months after providing this grant for the purchase of productive assets.
    3. All R&R entitlements to be provided before submergence and displacement.
    4. Those persons who have lost lands, but whose houses have not submerged, their houses should be acquired and the concerned families rehabilitated.
    5. The 41 villages of the Indira Sagar project whose back-water survey has not been carried out, the back-water survey must be done, and the necessary lands and properties acquired and the villagers rehabilitated and resettled.
    6. People of New Harsud resettlement site are suffering enormously because of lack of employment. Immediate arrangements for their employment must be made.
    7. The lands of five villages of Dewas namely Dharaji, Kothmir, Narsinghpura, Nayapura and Guwadi who are affected by the Omkareshwar dam must be acquired and the villagers rehabilitated and resettled.

    Thousands of oustees are resolved that they will take their rights and entitlements at any cost. Their slogan is that “Give us rehabilitation and land. Else empty the dam.”

    Alok Agarwal Sakubai Ram Vilas Rathor
    Omkareshwar Dam Indira Sagar Dam

    Radhubhai Bana Bai Govind Rawat
    Maheshwar Dam Upper Beda Dam Maan Dam

 

Press Release : NAPM Demands a Political Resolution on Telangana


NAPM Demands a Political Resolution on Telangana

Condemns Undemocratic Extraordinary Steps against the Telangana Agitators

June 14, New Delhi / Hyderabad : Andhra Pradesh is in turmoil once again over the demand of a separate Telangana. The struggle for a separate Telangana has been ongoing for a long time now. The central and state governments as well as the major political parties in the state have played opportunistic and partisan political games with people’s sentiments. Exploiting people’s emotions for vote bank politics, parties have supported formation of unholy alliances and politics of divide and rule. The uncertainty over the demand for a Telangana state must end now so that people can carry on their occupations and work without anger, ill-will and anxiety.

The formation of smaller states in the Indian Union is, in general, a significant step towards bringing the locus of political power closer to the people. Small states in India, given the population size of the country, will still be big by international standards. With a population of about 3 crores, Telangana, if and when created, will be viable as a state of the Indian Union. Demands for making governments responsive and accountable, need for redressing administrative inefficiency, and popular aspiration for a better life have set the stage for a new phase of states’ reorganization.

The people’s movement for Telangana has reached new heights in recent years. People’s struggles and sacrifices have made it clear that the demand for a separate state of Telangana now represents the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of the people in this region.

The Andhra Pradesh Assembly convened on 10th of June has remained paralysed on the issue of Telangana. It’s unfortunate to see the extraordinary measures that have been taken up by the government to suppress the ‘Chalo Assembly‘ call, given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee, an umbrella organisation of several pro-Telangana groups

National Alliance of People’s Movements believes that while it is necessary to maintain the law and order situation, suppression of democratic people’s protest by maas illegal arrests of activists, threatening the people of Telangana, and cancellation of monthly pensions and essential commodities through fair price shops to people participating in Telangana agitation, is totally unacceptable.

NAPM, no doubt, has always supported the demand for smaller states, whether in Jharkhand or Uttarakhand but has  also warned that without change in the paradigm of development and system of governance, there can be no fundamental change in the politics or relations of power in favour of the toiling masses. We repeat this warning in the case of Telangana, having witnessed the continued injustice and exploitation in the newly formed states. NAPM, however, supports the popular demand for Telangana which will benefit not only the agitating people from the Region but all in the present State of Andhra Pradesh whose lives and livelihood are continuously affected due to keeping the issue burning with struggle as well as oppression becoming an unending politics to be faced by common people.

Hence, NAPM calls for an immediate political resolution on the issue of Telangana. In spite of widespread support in Andhra Pradesh for the Telangana cause, there seems to be an impasse over statehood for the region. The Telangana movement offers credible hope of changing the iniquitous structures of power and control in the state and its failure could see the forces of lawlessness acquiring new strength, with disastrous consequences for the common people.

Medha Patkar, Ramakrishnam Raju, Prafulla Samantara, Dr. Sunilam, Gabriele Dietrich, Arundhati Dhuru, Saraswati Kavula, P S Ajay, Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant, Vimal Bhai, Madhuresh Kumar, Sashank Rajwadi

 

 

Kalpakkam must be made a case study: Medha Patkar


24 May

  • Addressing the people, social activist Medha Patkar said, “Going to the seashore was once tourism and an entertainment. But now, the ‘man-made tsunami’ has changed that pleasure. (File/PTI)
    Addressing the people, social activist Medha Patkar said, “Going to the seashore was once tourism and an entertainment. But now, the ‘man-made tsunami’ has changed that pleasure. (File/PTI)

On the second day of her visit to the State, social activist Medha Patkar visited Kalpakkam. While she was interacting with the people from the fishing community, she said, “More and more scientific data over the effects of radiation must be coming from Kalpakkam, and thereby, it should be made a ‘case study’ for other nuclear reactors.”

Addressing the people, she said, “Going to the seashore was once tourism and an entertainment. But now, the ‘man-made tsunami’ has changed that pleasure. The struggle of the fishing community against nuclear plants either in Kalpakkam or in Koodankulam, has turned a service to the environment and to the whole of mankind.”

“During the Narmada Valley protests, we had said it was in the quake-prone zone. But officials denied it. Later, there was a quake at Latur, where the place has been pointed as not in the quake-prone zone. It clearly shows that we cannot estimate the possibility of a quake at any given region. When there are scientific reports that showcases Kalpakkam is under such a hazard, why should we want to take the risk?,” she asked. She further said, “In the past, there were judges like V R Krishna Iyer and P N Bhagwati who ordered investigation committees to go to the ground and inspect. Such practices are not followed in today’s judiciary.”

Meet cancelled

Meanwhile, the proposed meeting with Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan IAS by social activist Medha Patkar was cancelled on Thursday evening.

According to members of NAPM, Medha Patkar had written to the Chief Secretary and got an appointment for around 5.30 pm on Thursday. But due to work exigencies, it is said the chief secretary cancelled the meeting.

 

Mumbai – Why this Hypocrisy? #slumdemolitions


 

The demolitions in Ali talao, Kharodi, Malvani. Malad W. P north ward

The background

The informal settlement with about 300 households gets its name from Ali talao (a pond) situated next to the basti. Ali talao basti has been in existence for more than 6 years now. Epitome of how any post-2005 basti will be like; it has people from all corners of the country, Tamils, UP walas, Bihars, Marathis and other migrants who flock to the city in a bid to survive our country’s rural deprivation. Situated in one of the most underdeveloped wards of Mumbai- P north; it was only recently that the settlement obtained some sort of services in the form of electricity. But compared to the rosy picture painted of Mumbai, and its imminent World-classness, this settlement was still without water and other basic services. The settlement stood on public land (NDZ) as per the 1991 Development Plan (DP), and has been now demolished 6 times in its short span of six years, and once it was burned, allegedly by the authorities themselves.

The demolition and the current crisis

There were no demolition notices, only threat orders and summoning from the police station thus raising apprehension of an impending demolition. Kharodi Ali talao was razed – again – on 20th May 2013. With about 1000 souls living in open tents, Ali talao now looks like refugee camp. The demolitions violated many principles as laid out in the UN Principles and Guidelines on Evictions and Displacement. (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Housing/Pages/ForcedEvictions.aspx). They now are under constant threat from the police who have put barricades around the site and are warning them from reoccupying the land. The families- like in the earlier instances- were not ready to move from the demolition site. To counter this, yesterday morning, the police rounded up more than 100 people (including children) from the settlement and held them hostage in the police station till late night- threatening with violence and adverse consequences if they do not vacate their demolished homes. In the night, 19 people were officially arrested and detained for the night and were produced in the court today morning; the arrested included 13 women. Some now have been released on a hefty bail of Rs 10,000, and 4 women belonging to the minority community face being jailed as they do not have such a large sum to pay-off. Perfect example of how our law and order system is employed to punish and incarcerate the poorest of the poor struggling to make their ends meet.

The Existing Land Use (ELU) survey and the ‘cleansed’ Development Plan (2014-34)

Ali talao residents in the last couple of months have given countless letters to the BMC to include them in the Development Plan revision process. They were happy that their settlement was mapped on the Existing Land Use (ELU) survey, which they considered as the first step to legalization! But unfortunately, the state is now on a demolition drive as if to correct the ELU where some informal settlements were mapped. It seems that rather than being obliged to offer a solution to the marginalized communities mapped in the ELU survey, it is using the same ELU to locate and demolish them using the draconian 1995 January cut-off date. This method of cleansing and planning is detrimental to this city, when about 25 lakh or about 20% of the city lives in informal settlements that have emerged after 1995. And we know that it impossible to rid the city of its 20% citizenry. But then we all are astonished on why some communities are selected and erased of the planning process.

102_6394.JPG

By- Aravind Unni, YUVA,

 

Press Release- A Radio Ad on Red FM names Medha Patkar shopping in R City Mall


To

 

medha

Advertising Standards Council Of India

Mumbai, May 23, 2013

Complaint- Radio advertisement of  R City  Mall using name of activist Medha Patkar

 

I was aghast to listen to your advertisement on Red FM between 1545 hrs and 1555 hrs on May  23rd 2013. The R City Mall, shamelessly names Medha  Patkar,  of Narmada Bachao Andolan , the activist enjoying shopping at R City Mall. I contacted  Medha Patkar and she denied completely giving any consent to the R city Mall   using her name. Even the Radio Station RED FM, with tag line Bajate Raho , have ignored such a big  blunder  in the advertisement

Medha  Patkar is a name which resonates  with rights of  slumdwellers   in Mumbai and she is last person to endorse and shop at Malls. She has   been fighting the Builder Mafia and has stood like a rock against the  islum demolitiosn for many years now and recently had been on a ten day  hunger strike against  the Golibar demolitions, which have were stopped due the  relentless efforts of NAPM.

R City has defamed Medha Patkar by using her name in their promotional advertisement for the Mall.

The advertisement should be immediately  withdrawn  , and the Mall and Radio channel need to tender a public apology  with immediate effect.

 

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

 

Mumbai

May 23, 2013

complaint tracking No – 613ed1596928

Demolitions and the English press


Slum demolitions don’t attract press coverage; building demolitions do. Because buildings, not slums, are where people like us live. Where does this empathy go when slums are being demolished, asks JYOTI PUNWANI Pix: Medha fasts
Posted/Updated Thursday, May 16 15:12:21, 2013
HERE’S LOOKING AT US
Jyoti  Punwani
Slum demolitions don’t attract press coverage; building demolitions do. Because buildings, not slums, are where people like us – English journalists and our readers — live.
That’s understandable, even if one may not agree with the logic. But what’s difficult to understand is the blanket coverage given by Mumbai’s English press to the proposed demolition of 91 flats in an upscale part of town,which was scheduled to take place in the first week of May. From April 27, when it was reported that the residents had received notices from the Municipal Corporation, till May 3, the day after the Supreme Court gave them a five month reprieve, the main English papers carried at least one story everyday. The DNA and The Times of India devoted an entire page to the proposed demolition on one occasion, with the coverage extending to two full pages in The Times on May 1.
In principle, the demolition of these flats involved the core issue of slum demolitions – the right to shelter, even if that shelter is unauthorized. The residents had bought the flats and moved in knowing fully well that the buildings did not have the required Occupation Certificate (OC). Prolonged litigation over 14 years right up to the Supreme Court had finally resulted in a refusal in February this year to legalize them.Two months later, the BMC sent them notices to vacate, giving them just 48 hours’ notice.
For the residents, it must have been like the heavens had fallen – and that’s the way the English press projected it. Where will we go, our children have grown up here, we have aged parents, these flats our are life’s savings, why did the BMC take taxes from us all these years…these were the questions – very valid ones too – the residents were quoted as asking. Pen-portraits of some of them were carried with pictures of their old and ailing family members.
 They ran to the High Court for a reprieve. Rebuffed, they approached the Supreme Court, with renowned lawyer Fali Nariman arguing that they had the right to shelter. The day their case was to be heard in the Supreme Court, was also the day the demolition was to begin. Almost every paper carried a blow by blow account of the day – the tension till the2pm Supreme Court hearing, the demolition men arriving in vans, the havans and pujas, then the jubilation when the verdict came in.The reporters were euphoric too.Until then, the reporters had succeeded,through theirchoice of words (“eviction’’ was equated with “hardship’’), and quotes (“We are dying here everyday’’) to make us feel their pain.
Where does this empathy go when slums are being demolished? The emotions are the same; the questions raised by slum dwellers also the same. The only difference is that slum dwellers live illegally on public land, whereas these residents lived illegally on private land. But public land is the only shelter the urban poor can afford. They too pay for everything. They pay high deposits, and they pay more for water than we living in buildings do, having to buy it at market rates. Yes, some do get electricity illegally, but they have to pay the slumlord for that.
Like the BMC in the Campa Cola case, the authorities don’t act when a slum comes up. They move in to demolish only when it’s a full-blown settlement, often, after a generation has grown up there. And most slum families are joint families, so there’s no dearth of old and ailing family members who have to suffer the violence of the bulldozer.
Like the Campa Cola buildings, slums are also demolished at short notice, and at any time. It may be pouring or blazingly hot or windy and cold, exams may be on – none of this affects the demolition men. Alternate accommodation is rarely provided to slum-dwellers, mostly, they are left on the road. Babies have died after demolitions due to exposure to the elements. But in the Campa Cola case,  the BMC’s counsel himself told the Supreme Court, which wanted to give only a three-month reprieve,to extend it because August would be the peak of the monsoon!
Fears of having to live far away were voiced by the Campa Cola residents. But in the case of slum dwellers, if at all alternate accommodation is provided, it’s inevitably miles away, on the outskirts of Mumbai, in buildings constructed so close to each other they must surely be violating safety rules.
All this rarely gets into the papers these days. There was a time it did. Why are reporters not being sent now to do these stories?
 In March, Medha Patkar went on an indefinite fast against demolitions in a 60-year-old slum in Golibar, a suburban slum sprawl. This slum has seen repeated attempts over the last five years to destroy it. Every time, the residents have resisted, and Medha has intervened. In 2011 too, she had fasted till the CM intervened. In January this year, the slum dwellers forced the state government to set up an inquiry into six slum redevelopment projects, including this one. But even before the inquiry could be completed, the bulldozers moved in. This time, it took nine days before the CM deigned to intervene.
Thanks to Medha and the slum dwellers’ resistance, this slum is now well-known to the Mumbai press. Medha has provided enough evidence of fraud against the developer, Shivalik Ventures.  Criminal cases have been filed against them. They have violated court orders to rehabilitate slum dwellers and give them written agreements for new homes, before demolishing the existing ones.
 Given all this, why didn’t Medha’s fast against the illegal demolitions get half the coverage the Campa Cola residents did?
One reason could be that a second fast at the same venue for the same cause doesn’t make news. But her first fast hadn’t either!
Medha’s fast was covered in bits and pieces without any reporting from the site in Mumbai’s English press. Delhi-based Tehelka was the only one to do a report from the ground. That, and one brief report in The Times by Linah BAliga, which was upfront about the builder’s illegalities, was the only ones that merited attention.
This time, there was something really newsworthy about the demolition of this much-demolished slum. A day before the scheduled demolition, Union Minister for Housing Ajay Maken wrote to the Maharashtra CM asking him to ensure it didn’t take place. But neither the letter, nor the Maharashtra CM’s indifference to it, was highlighted by the English press, despite Medha’s team sending out a copy of it.
Is the main reason for the English press’ apathy towards slum demolitions the belief that slum demolitions are passé?That they are just meant to happen, given their illegal existence? And there’s nothing new to say anyway?
On the other hand, building residents being dishoused is news. “I am now down with my ayah,’’ one resident was quoted as saying; “She’s bringing food for me now,’’ said another. The residents even called those living in a nearby slum to boost their numbers as they stood guard at the entrance of their compound, refusing to let the demolition crew in. The reporters had reams of space, but none of them asked the residents what they felt after their own experience, about slum demolitions. What if their ayahs who were being so supportive in their time of crisis, were to be evicted overnight? They did quote one resident grumbling that the BMC was treating them like “slumlords’’ (surely he meant slum-dwellers? Slum lords are never touched), while a BMC official was quoted as saying they weren’t going to just go in and start demolishing the way they did with slums. Indeed.
But newsworthiness doesn’t explain the empathy shown towards these illegal residents. Except the Indian Express, the other papers didn’t think it important to explain why the Supreme Court had turned down the residents’ plea to regularize their flats in February. Despite being educated, the Supreme Court had observed, these residents had moved in to their flats, knowing they were not authorized.
Some of the residents, fearing the worst, did check out alternate accommodation. But said one resident to the Indian Express: “My children will not be able to stay in any other premises.’’ This too was considered worthy of reporting!
By Demolition day, the illegal residents had constructed an extra gate, andbarricaded their entrance with their cars, so that the BMC men could not enter. This was reported without comment; neither were the BMC officials asked about this obstruction to their work. What if slum dwellers did the same when they faced demolition?In 2011, the Golibar slum women, led by Medha Patkar, hadfaced the demolition squad and the police, waving the national flag and singing the national anthem. The police had dragged them into vans, cordoned off the slum, prevented the media from entering and gone in with the Slum Rehabilitation officials to arrest activists and terrorizethe slum dwellers.
Outside the barricaded Campa Cola compound, the BMC crew twiddled their thumbs for six hours till the Supreme Court verdict came. But in the Golibar slum, the demolition squad razed 70 homes in clear violation of both Union government and court orders.
At every stage, the coverage of the demolition of the Campa Cola apartments cried out for comparisons with the continuous demolitions of slums taking place in Mumbai. Alas, the Mumbai press never made that comparison.

 

Medha Patkar exposes 70,000 crore Maharashtra Irrigation Scam #Ajitpawar #Nitingadkari #Video


TNN | Apr 19, 2013, 03.11 AM IST

Top netas deny Medha Patkar's bribery charges
Patkar released a December 2011 Income-Tax (I-T) assessment report, which said that firms paid unexplained “overheads” totalling nearly Rs 44 crore to facilitate building of the Ghodzari branch canal, which is a part of the controversial project.
MUMBAI: Social activist Medha Patkar of theNational Alliance of People’s Movement on Thursday alleged that a dam contractor bribed top NCP, BJP and Congress leaders as well as state irrigation department officials for the Gosikhurd national project in Vidarbha.Patkar released a December 2011 Income-Tax (I-T) assessment report, which said that firms paid unexplained “overheads” totalling nearly Rs 44 crore to facilitate building of the Ghodzari branch canal, which is a part of the controversial project.The I-T order for assessment year 2008-09 showed payments to ‘Dada, ‘AP’, ‘GAD’, ‘SD’ and ‘MG’. Patkar alleged that ‘Dada’ and ‘AP’ are deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar (then water resources minister), while the others are BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari and Gopinath Munde, and former Congress MLA Sunil Deshmukh, respectively.

The payments, which were also made to senior engineers, continued till February 2009. Dada and AP received the largest chunk, Rs 27.5 crore, Gad and SD got Rs 50 lakh each and MG received Rs 20 lakh, said the I-T order.

Pawar, Munde and Deshmukh have denied the allegations, while a BJP spokesperson denied Gadkari was involved.

Patkar’s allegations come in the wake of a series of exposes by TOI over the past year on a Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam in Maharashtra. The I-T order was prepared by A S Marathe, deputy commissioner of I-T, central circle, Kolhapur, following a search operation at the residence of a technical director of Mahalaxmi Infraprojects Ltd (MIL) in September 2009. MIL (earlier Mahalakshmi Construction Company Ltd) is in a joint venture with M/s B T Patil and Sons Belgaum Construction company Ltd to build the Rs 287-crore Ghodzari branch canal. An appeal against the I-T order is pending before the appellate tribunal, Pune.

The I-T report said it had found evidence of “speed money payments” at the residence of Dhirendra Anant Bhat, MIL technical director. “Bundle No 1 containing 40 loose sheets has comprehensive evidences of speed money depicting the name of the project, amount, date of payment, name of payer, name of recipient, designation of bribe recipient, sharing of such unexplained expenditure between Mahalaxmi and its JV partner, M/s B T Patil & Sons Belgaum Construction Company etc,” the report said.

Both the joint-venture partners admitted that Rs 43.84 crore is the total unexplained expenditure related to the Ghodzari project and their 50% share is around Rs 21.91 crore. “The claim of the assessee company (Mahalaxmi) and its JV partner is that the unexplained payments mentioned in the documents seized from Shri Bhat are only projected payments and not payments actually made. Thus, the only dispute in respect of unexplained payments related to the Ghodzari project is year of taxation and nature of payments,” said the IT report. The report attached scanned copies of loose sheets found at Bhat’s house. They show payments to Dada and AP, SD, GAD and MG.

Pawar refuted the allegations. “She (Patkar) is a renowned activist. I am too small a person to comment in comparison to her,” he said sarcastically, but added, “There is no truth in the allegations. The government has set up an SIT to probe the financial irregularities in irrigation projects. Once the probe is over, one will come to know about the reality of the allegations and status of irrigation projects.” A source close to Pawar said he might take legal recourse if Patkar’s information is false.

Munde described the allegations as “baseless”. “I don’t know any contractor called Bhat. I have never met him,” said a statement issued by Munde. BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari, speaking on behalf of Gadkari and Munde, dismissed Patkar’s charges as “baseless and without truth”.

Deshmukh, the former minister of state (MoS) for water resources, said he did not hold the portfolio during the period Patkar was referring to. He said he held the portfolio from 2004 to 2008. “In any case none of the tenders are approved by the MoS, as the decisions were directly taken by the executive director of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation and the cabinet minister,” he said.

Patkar has demanded an independent commission of inquiry chaired by a judge with integrity to probe the corruption charges. She said the state government-appointed Chitale committee had no power to delve deep enough into the irrigation scam.

 

Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off their indefnite fast on Golibar demolitions


GHAR BACHAO – GHAR BANAO ANDOLAN

Affiliated with

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS

National Office : A Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road, Dadar (E), Mumbai – 400 014.

E-mail: gbgbandolan@gmail.com | Web : www.napm-india.org

———————————————————————————————————————————-

April 13, 2013, Mumbai                               

We shall Fight!! We Shall Win!!!

No demolitions of the 6 projects untill the enquiry is complete

GaneshKrupa Society land belongs to the residents : decision of the joint meeting

Mandala to be the pilot project of Rajiv Awas Yojana of Mumbai

Process of slum declaration and providing civic amenities will happen according to the earlier agreement between Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and Govt. of Maharashtra

All conditions of the LOI to be complied with and in cases of fraud documents it will be withdrawn

On the 9th day of Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar’s fast at Golibar, Mumbai, Sh. Pritviraj Chavan, Chief Minister, Maharashtra intervened. After a meaningful meeting and written assurances by the Principal Secretary(Housing) and CEO, SRA followed by a meeting and agreement to the demands by the Chief Minister, Medha patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off the fast at 1 AM on 13thApril, 2013, but the struggle will continue to ensure proper implementation of the decisions.

Earlier in the day on April 12, thousands of supporters and Slum Dwellers reached to the door step of Chief Minister Bunglow and protested there the whole day, which forced the Chief Minister to agree on the demands on the 9th day of the fast.

A delegation consisted of Sh. ChandraShekhar, Architect, Vidya Bal, Editor, Miloon Saryajani (a Marathi Magazine), Pushpa Dave, Writer, Anjali Damania, Sumit Wajale, Prerna Gaikwad, Ajit Gavkhedkar and residents of Golibar and other slums in Mumbai met the Chief Minister.

The fast started on 4th April, 2013 after demolition of 70+ houses of GaneshKrupa Society, Golibar with the following demands:-

1.       The enquiry in respect of 6 S.R.A. Projects, under the chairmanship of Principal secretary, Housing, is in progress since 13th January, 2013. We demand that the work in all these projects should be stopped untill the report of the enquiry is completed and actions taken on the recommendations.

2.       If demolitions are being carried out in accordance with court rulings but the preconditions put forth are not met, main issues and allegations of corruption through forgery, fraudulent consent are not resolved etc., then in such cases project work should be stopped and no further demolitions be carried.

3.       In cases where the residents have submitted self development projects or wish to submit the same, they should be sanctioned and encourgaed and started immediately.

4.       S.R.A. Should ensure that in case of ongoing S.R.A. Projects all conditions in L.O.I. should be complied with.

5.       The L.O.I. of the developer should be withdrawn wherever the developers have submitted forged / false documents or wrong information in violation of the L.O.I – as in case of Shivalik builders.

6.       The Chief Minister of Maharashtra has agreed to implement ‘Rajeev Awas Yojana’ in the slums of Mumbai instead of S.R.A., on 2nd January, 2013. However these very slums are being buldozed even today. So, the displacement of these slums should be stopped till R.A.Y. is implemented. The same was conveyed to the State Government by the Union Minister Ajay maken on April 2, 2013.

7.       Pilot projects in respect of slum at Mandala, Mankhurd under the R.A.Y. Have already been submiited to the state as well as Central Governments. That should be approved and implemented at the earliest.

8.       Civic amenities (like water, toilets, nallahs, roads ) should be provided to all the slums immediately as per the written assurance given by the Municipal Commissioner.

9.       The Chief Secretary had given a written assurance on 25th May, 2011 that 19 bastis as agreed in the list, after 9 day fast by Medha Patkar, will be decalred slums within 3 months. There is no action on this assurance till date. The same should be done. The Chief Minister, and the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Housing had premised again in January, 2013 to complete this action during discussions held with them. They also gave a written assurance to that effect. The displacements that are being carried out at present are, therefore, grossly unjust and hence should be stopped forthwith.

10.    Shri Ajay Maken, Minister for Housing and Urban poverty alleviation, Government of India has written a letter to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra state on 2nd April, 2013. The Chief Minister should declare his stand on the letter in writing.

11.    The land of Sathe Nagar should be given for R.A.Y. . This land is currently under the hold of Bombay Soap company.

 

Chief Minister Agreed to the Following :-

1.      On the issue of Ganesh Krupa Society’s Land: The residents of the Society has paid the amount towards the cost of the land to the government which they agreed. Without the consent of the residents the land cannot be developed. A Joint Meeting within a week will decide about the development of the land.

2.      Rehabilitation building has been constructed on the Defence land which is under court process. No one at the rehabilitation site will be homeless even if defence wins the case. MHADA and Government of Maharashtra will look into the matter. 

3.      No demolition untill the enquiry is complete :- Chief Minister agreed to halt on demolitions of the 6 SRA projects by the Principal Secretary (housing) till the enquiry report comes and action taken. They will take action on the fraudulent cases related to SRA. The enquiry has been promised to be completed by 15th May, 2013.

4.      Mandala will be declared as the Pilot Project of Rajiv Awas Yojana in Mumbai. Chief Minister will talk to the Central Govt. to implement Rajiv Awas Yojana in Mumbai.

5.      Slum declaration process will be according to the earlier agreement between the Andolan and Government of Maharashtra in May, 2011.

6.      Chief Minister agreed to take Mandala as the Pilot Project of Rajiv Awas Yojana and to talk to the Central Government on RAY.

7.      They  ensured all ongoing SRA projects will be complied with all conditions of LOI and in cases of Fraud documents, LOI will be withdrawn.

 

After the agreement between Chief Minister and the delegation from the Movement, Medha Patkar and Madhuri Shivkar call off the fast by Vidya Tai Bal and Pushpa Tai Dave.

Prerna Gaikwad, Aba Tandel, Ajit Gavkhedkar, Alex, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yeole, Rajkumar, Santosh Thorat, Shriram Bhardwaj, Ajay Palande, Sangeeta, Jameel Bhai, Imtiaz Sheikh, Poonam Kanaujia, Uday Mohite, Seela Manaswinee

 

Contact : 09892727063 | 09212587159 | napmindia@gmail.com

#India – Children of Koodankulam: Growing Up With The Struggle #mustread


dianuke.org

Anitha S.

We are the children of the Porattam ( struggle) against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Thirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu in Southern India. As we write this it will be 588 days since we have been holding the porattam in the stage of the Lourde Matha church in the Idinthakarai village.

We have gone through many phases in the past one and a half years. The Fukushima disaster and the terrible sound of the trial run in the Nuclear power plant so close is what made all of us really think about the disaster which might befall us. Since then we have been asking the Government many questions regarding the impact of the Nuclear Power plant on our health, on the ocean life, air and soil that sustain us, on our livelihoods, on the safety of the region which has been areas with tremors, subsidence and tsunami… all to no avail! We have stood in the sea, walked the beaches, held press conferences, buried in the sand, danced, sung and shouted slogans, travelled to many places and spoken but there has been no answer.

koodankulamchildren1We have been chased, beaten and injured by tear gas shells. We have been held captive in our own villages with no bus or regular transport facilities. We have stayed for days either in our own homes or unable to go home as Police surrounded us. We have had Section 144 declared for months on end- now too it is on till April 9th after we had the siege on March 11 when more than 1000 boats went to sea. Our dear Uncle Ganeshan has been taken away ten days back from his village Koodankulam and locked up. Our fathers and brothers have stayed away from fishing for days. We have stayed away from school for weeks. Our mothers and aunts have been locked up for months in jail.

All because we asked some questions and questioned the Nuclear Power Plant. We raised many doubts about the intense and cruel suppression of our democratic rights to pursue our own lives in the homeland that belongs to us. We proclaimed we are not illiterate and stupid, but capable of understanding the hideous and unjust face of the representatives of people ( as they are called).

It has been a great learning experience growing up with the Porattam. We have met so many interesting people involve in true life struggles from all over the country. We have had activists, journalists, poets and film makers from Japan, Australia and UK visiting us with stories from their own country. We have seen so many films and pictures of the disasters connected to Nuclear Energy. We have been supported by students from various schools and colleges. We have met great people like Mahasveta Devi and V.R.Krishna Iyer, Aruna Roy and Medha Patkar all of whom have spoken for us and about us.

Today has been a happy day for us. We realize more than ever that Knowledge is the greatest power in the world. The fact that each one of us in the struggle have been made aware of the various details of the Nuclear lobby is what has gained us the true strength to pursue our goal. From the 8 year old to the 80 year old, we speak with clarity about why we are staying steadfast with the movement against Nuclear Energy.

Today we sat in the new Reading space that has been created in the stage – the real stage of our simple lives. The Reading space was formed with contributions that was made by people towards the book No: Echoes Koodankulam. We know that many of us are characters in the book and it has taken the message of our porattam far and wide. We are so thankful to all who gave their contributions so that this space was made possible. On the day the book was released, 2 of our close friends, Labika and Ignesh travelled all the way to Kochi to receive the book from Mahasveta Devi. She told them that is easy to say Yes, but we should learn to say No. The porattam has shown us the way to say No boldly and non-violently, persistently and continuously. We have heard that there has been small but very intense discussions about the anti-nuclear movement in our village in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and many parts of Kerala centering around No: Echoes Koodankulam. It has been heartening to hear about travels with the book.

We love to read and write. Today Melrit auntie who is in charge of the library gave us each a book and we all sat out in the sand and read. It was nice to see that many of the books had writings in both Tamil and English. Some of the mothers in the courtyard were reading it out to the younger ones. Many of the books had colourful illustrations that attracted the attention of the tiny tots. While reading and imagining the stories, many of us forgot the tension that has been pervading our lives for 580 days. We became children, with fantasies and dreams, with free thoughts and wild imaginations. This is real childhood. But some of us also know that we have to gain knowledge and excel in our studies so that the message of our dear porattam days will be always a source of inspiration. We have been tempered and seasoned by its power. We want to give back to these villages what it has given us- the sense of belonging and space, the self esteem and independence that our hard working forefathers have left us, the power of honesty and dedication that this coming together has taught us. For this we all are glad today- for the diverse spaces, including the Reading space this Porattam has given us.

Anitha.S ( catastrophe64@gmail.com) after travelling to Idinthakarai with second set of books for Reading space bought with Contributions to NO: Echoes Koodankulam. Conversations with Ignesh, Labisha, Labika, Shobhana, Selja, Shyamili, Pinochio, Anselvam, Sundari, Chellamma, Mary, Leela ,Rani, Meera ,Udayakumar, Milton, Pushparayan, Kebiston.

Thanks to Tulika team ( Chennai ) and the Sudarshan Book Centre, Nagercoil for their help and support.

 

 

Golibar Demolition Protests spread in Maharashtra- Andolan lays Seize to CM Residence in Mumbai


Andolan lays Seize to CM Residence in Mumbai

Protests in Different parts of Maharashtra

Dialogue with Secretary Housing Over, now Over to CM

April 12, Mumbai / New Delhi : Today is the ninth day of indefinite fast by Medha Patkar and 7th day of indefinite fast by Madhuri Shivkar in Golibar, Mumbai. Late in the evening yesterday Sanjay Nirupam, MP came to the dharna site and expressed his solidarity with the Andolan and said he will do his best to address the issues at hand. People from different Bastis had kept pouring in to the dharna site but also getting restless and so they decided to lay seize to Chief Minister‘s residence. Chief Minister, Shri Prithvi Raj Chavan spoke to Medha ji in the morning and agreed to meet a delegation.

Today morning nearly 1000 people from different Bastis parked themselves infront of CM’s house and refused to move unless and until he talked to them. Meanwhile, in morning we got a call from Principal Secretary Housing, Mr. Devashish Chakravarty to have a dialogue with the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGB) representatives. A delegation went and met with them at 11 am. The meeting was joined by CEO, SRA Mr. Deshmukh and other officials. They agreed to most of the demands of the Andolan but bactracked on the demand of self redevelopment by Ganesh Krupa Housing Society, who paid for the land in 2003. As per the law they can claim self development but the authorities are not sure, even though CEO SRA on another meeting two days ago, see below, had agreed to this. As we write this update to you, the delegation is still there and waiting for the written order from them.

Once the written document is collected, a delegation will go and meet the Chief Minister. One the meeting is over Andolan will decide the next steps.

Since, morning, protests have been held by different organisations and supporters of the Andolan at different places in Maharashtra – Pune, Satara, Maangaon, Ahmadnagar and other places.

Prerna Gaikwad, Aba Tandel, Ajit Gavkhedkar, Alex, Atik, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yeole, Rajkumar, Seela Manaswinee

Contact : 09892727063 | 09212587159 |napmindia@gmail.com | www.khareastandolan.wordpress.com

 

Late in the evening yesterday on the 7th day of the Indefinite fast i.e. on 10th April, 2013, Sh. Nirmal Deshmukh, CEO, SRA called for a meeting with delegation from the fast site to discuss on the demands. Addl. Collector (Encroachment), Mr. Thackrey, Secretary, SRA, Mr. Milind Bohrikar, Sub-Registrar, SRA and other concerned officers from SRA (Slum Redevelopment Authority) were present during the discussion with the delegation by CEO, SRA.

1. Discussion started from Ganesh krupa Society Redevelopment Plan. The society has already paid amount of Rs. 5 lakh 4 Thousand towards the cost of land to the Collector in 2003. As per records the land belongs to the society. The Society now demands for self development. CEO, SRA agreed in principle on this and has agreed to talk to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Housing on this.

2. CEO, SRA has agreed to the demand to stop demolition till the enquiry of the 6 societies are going on under the Principal Secretary, Housing.

3. He has even agreed to talk to the Chief Minister and Principal Secretary, Housing on the issue of Slum Declaration and Providing civic amenities to the bastis and implementation of Rajiv Awas Yojana for 21 bastis.

The delegation has demanded to take Mandala in Mumbai as the Pilot project for Rajiv Awas Yojana.

Corruption from the side of SRA can be clearly seen from the SRA side regarding the land transaction of GaneshKrupa Society of Golibar. In 2003, the Society paid the money to the govt. and the land now belongs to the residents of the society. This was clearly admitted by the SRA when they met the delegation yesterday. “When the land belongs to the residents of the Society, how the Shivalik ventures can demolish the houses built over it” said by the residents of the Society. In 1997, this matter has been published in the gazetteer of Maharashtra which supports the claim.

 

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