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

 

Rs 212 crore for Omkareshwar dam oustees


 

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Author(s): Aparna Pallavi
Date: May 30, 2013

Activists allege farmers being shortchanged; demand strict implementation of rehabilitation policy and Supreme Court guidelines
Last year, people affected by the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dams protested the raising of dam storage levels by staying in neck-deep water for over a fortnight (photo courtesy Narmada Bachao Andolan)
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has declared a rehabilitation package worth Rs 212 crore for people displaced by the Omkareshwar dam on the river Narmada. The announcement was made late on Tuesday night. The project has affected five villages and a total of 2,500 families.

The project affected people had been agitating for rehabilitation since July last year when they staged a jal satyagraha after the government ordered the dam reservoir to be filled without providing alternative land or compensation. Following the agitation, the government constituted a complaint redressal cell for the oustees . However, the cell failed to function as desired. A press note of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), a people’s front fighting for the rights of those displaced, stated the government even showed displaced villagers land that had already been given to those displaced because of other development projects, which nearly sparked off a conflict between the two groups.

No land in lieu of land taken

The current rehabilitation package promises Rs 2.5 lakh as compensation to landless oustees, while farmers have been promised Rs 2 lakh compensation per acre (one acre equals 0.4 hectare). Though the NBA has welcomed the provision for the landless, it has criticised the package provision for farmers.

Talking to Down To Earth from Khandva district, NBA activist Chittaroopa Palit said that the Supreme Court in its May 2011 order has said that the rehabilitation policy should be strictly followed. The policy says that all farmers ousted should be given minimum five acres of land. The present compensation package, however, does not envisage such a clause and offers to pay farmers only for the land they actually have, which will impact farmers with less than five acres badly. Also, the actual cost of land is much higher – this year Indira Sagar dam oustees have been paid Rs 5.80 lakh per acre. The NBA press note demanded that government either give every displaced farmer five acres of irrigated land, or pay for the purchases made by him.

Another unreasonable clause in the rehabilitation package is that only those villagers who vacate the submersion area by July 15 will be paid compensation. “This clause is illegal, and goes against the spirit of the rehabilitation policy,” says Palit. “Supreme Court has also said clearly in its order that oustees will be given six months to vacate the area after payment of compensation,” she adds.

‘Compensate those displaced by other dams as well’

NBA has demanded that compensation should not be limited to only Omkareshwar oustees, but should also be paid to those displaced because of all dams in the Narmada valley – namely Indira Sagar, Maheshwar, Upper Beda and Mann.

Omkareshwar dam is a multi-purpose project built at a cost of Rs 2,224.73 crore. Its installed capacity is 520 MW; the power is produced by eight power stations. The project is supposed to generate 1,167 million units energy every year, while also meeting the irrigation needs of at least three districts.

 

Tribals arrested, lathi-charged for demanding rehabilitation


Published on Down To Earth | Latest news, opinion, analysis on environment and science issues | India, South Asia (http://www.downtoearth.org.in)

 


Author(s):
Aparna Pallavi
Issue Date:
2013-5-28

Madhya Pradesh government starts dam construction without clearances

Twenty men and seven women from the tribal village of Chaukhand in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone district were arrested while many others with them were brutally beaten up by police for protesting illegal construction of a dam on the Kharak river.

As per a press-note issued by the Narmada Bachao Andolan on May 26, the residents of the village, mostly Bhil and Bhilala tribals, were demanding compensation and rehabilitation, and had put a stop to the work at the dam site two months ago.

On May 26, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Jitendra Singh Chouhan, along with 150 police personnel, arrived at village Choukhand with an earth-work machine and tried to start work on the dam forcibly, says the press note. When villagers tried to speak to the SDM, he ordered a lathi-charge.

Residents claim people were pulled out of their houses and beaten up. Those injured include Banchabai of village Choukhand who was breastfeeding her baby when she was pulled out, and two minor girls Kalibai and Phulbai who were trying to protect their father from beatings.

Cheated of compensation

Chitroopa Palit, activist of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, said the proposed dam is yet to receive statutory forest clearance under the Forest Conservation Act and environment clearance under provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act. Despite this, the state government started land acquisition for the dam in 2011; the structure will submerge seven villages in the Badwani and Khargone districts. Since July 2012, some people in villages Juna Bilwa, Kaniapani and Choukhand in Khargone district were forced to accept paltry compensation of Rs 40,000 per acre (0.4 hectare) against collector’s guidelines which put the compensation amount at Rs 1.60 lakh for non-irrigated land and Rs 3.20 lakh for irrigated land. The people were told they would be paid compensation in three instalments and if they protested they would be jailed till the completion of the project.

However, residents of four affected villages in Badwani district—Kamat, Kaniapani, Julwania and Muvasia—have been denied any compensation. These villages are located in reserve forest area, and some of the tribal residents have been given land rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) while others’ FRA claims are pending, informs Palit. Also, 150 families in  three villages in Khargone district, who were cultivating land under a common patta (land titles) in the name of a cooperative society since 1969, have also been denied rehabilitation because the society was disbanded in the late 1990’s and people do not have individual documents, she said.

The people, united under the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), have been demanding rehabilitation since 2011, and after the administration failed to fulfil their demand, they stopped the dam work, said Palit. She said that administration has taken advantage of the arrest of JADS activist Madhuri Krishnaswami [1] to stage this attack on the people.

Khargone collector Navneet Mohan Kothari denied that people were beaten up. “The people who beat up the workers on the dam site were arrested,” he said. Kothari refused to comment on the fact that the dam work has been started illegally without proper clearances and said that all project-affected people have been paid just compensation.

 


 

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

Amenities elude Sardar Sarovar evictees


ANNU ANAND, The Hindu

Makeshift existence: Life at Anjanwada village. Photo: Annu Anand
Makeshift existence: Life at Anjanwada village. Photo: Annu Anand

Displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam project, hundreds living on the hills lining the Narmada banks are denied basic amenities

A satisfied smile flashes across Chuna’s face. At least for few months, she won’t have to worry about feeding her children. Leaving behind all the day’s work, 35-year-old Sarla was also rushing to the village outskirts. She didn’t want to let this opportunity go.

Just like Chuna and Sarla, all men and women were running towards the village end, near the bank of the river, where in the name of a ration shop, wheat, sugar and salt were scattered on the ground. The village was getting PDS grains after a gap of six months. Running towards this makeshift ration shop, the villagers were simultaneously worried by the thought that the PDS shopkeeper may leave before they reach and their children may have to face hunger and starvation again.

This was the scene in Bhitada village in Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district — one of the villages that have been affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam project. One can reach this village only after travelling 44 km by road followed by a one-hour travel boat ride and a three-km-long walk. The whole village has been divided into five clusters or falias and these clusters are inhabited by about 350 families. Each cluster is at a distance of about two km.

According to the draft Food Security Bill, it is the responsibility of the State government to ensure that each family below the poverty line gets subsidised ration from the PDS shops. But families living on the bank of Narmada — affected by the Sardar Sarovar project and inadequate rehabilitation — are forced to live on the mercy of government officials for their day-to-day sustenance. They get rations after months on end and that too for only a few hours. By the time the news of ration arriving spreads in their scattered homes in the village, the makeshift PDS shop gets dismantled. Nandla Bhai who came to deliver PDS ration was selling the salt costing Re. one a packet for Rs. 5 to the villagers. He justifies his action saying, “Transporting the ration over such a distance increases the cost of the goods.” But transport charges are being paid by the government! Nandla didn’t have any answer.

There are 15 villages in the Alirajpur district that are surrounded by the Narmada due to the dam project. As the dam’s height kept on increasing, these villages got submerged leading to loss of land and homes. Improper rehabilitation has led these villagers to struggle for their basic needs like food, health and livelihood. Government schemes like PDS, mid-day meal, MGNREGA and anganwadi are implemented in these villages in the official records but because of inaccessibility, their scattered nature and inefficiency and corruption on the part of the government, most of these schemes remain exist only on paper.

Around 13 years ago, these villages were filled with lush green fields. There was a road to reach the village. But beginning from 1996, these villages started getting affected. By 2000, their farms and houses were completely submerged. In this situation, many villagers had to seek shelter in the hills that line the bank of Narmada. The rocky nature of these hills makes it difficult for the villagers to even find a place to set up their homes.

Anjanwada is one such village. The health, school facilities and nutrition for children here remain a challenge. The population of this village is around 360. The government has started a primary school for the children in the village but for most of the children, the school is only accessible by an arduous boat ride or an hour long walk through the rocky terrain. The school and the anganwadi are situated at the same place. The anganwadi is unable to provide nutrition to needy children since it is difficult for them to cross the river or cover the long distance daily. There is no health centre in the village. Electricity and roads still seem like a distant dream for these villagers.

Khajan Singh of Anjanwada lost his 12-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son three years ago as he couldn’t provide them timely treatment. The nearest health sub centre is located in Kakrana, 12 km away and can only be reached by a two-hour-long boat ride from Anjanwada.

The Madhya Pradesh government claims that all 45,000 displaced in the Sardar Sarovar Project have been given adequate compensation. Meera Kumari of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), however, says, “ Nearly 3,300 families have been given the first instalment of cash component. But due to the Fake Registry Scam, they have been unable to buy the land. As of now, the matter is in High Court.”

 

#India- Economically weaker section evictees face serious health problem


 

ByRhik Kundu, TNN | Feb 15, 2013,

 

BANGALORE: A month since over 2000 people in the EWS ( economically weaker sections) quarters of Ejipura were rendered homeless by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike‘s (BBMP) eviction drive, serious health and hygiene issues have surfaced in the peripheries of the area where over 200 evicted families have made temporary homes.

 

Diarrheal diseases, infections and other form of water borne and air borne disease, apart from severe mental trauma, are rampant at present says doctors attending patients from the area.

 

“There are no proper water or sanitation facilities available to them,” said Dr Sylvia Karpagam, co-convener, Karnataka chapter of Janaarogya Andolana, or People’s Health Movement network, who has been working with the homeless since the eviction was carried out last month.

 

“Several human rights of these helpless people – like right to water, right to dignity of life – were abolished by a single court order. This used to be a healthy community. Now they are struggling with diseases and have lost all confidence on the state to protect them,” Dr Karpagam added.

 

A visit to the slums in the periphery of the EWS quarters exposes the plight of the helpless people who seem to have lost everything. Families of five to six are seen living in makeshift homes that merely fits two persons. The area stinks of filth as there’s neither proper sanitation nor toilet facility. And then many say that they have been hungry for days at a stretch because they haven’t been able to get back to their regular jobs – mostly menial jobs that of domestic help, and labouring -as some have sustained severe injuries since the aftermaths of demolitions which they claim have been inflicted upon them by police and government officials while others are too scared to venture out in fear of losing their temporary homes.

 

“Our houses were demolished when we were at the Adugodi police station. We were taken there so that we didn’t see our houses getting bulldozed,” said Shabina Taj, who’s been living at the EWS for the past 25 years.

 

Showing her plastered right foot, Shabina wonders why she and others were thrown out their homes despite having proper documents for their houses and later manhandled by police and officials.

“I was even arrested while protesting when I asked them to give me two months time to evict my house so that my children can finish their academic year in peace. Now I don’t have any house, and I have sent my children away, and I can’t even go to work because of my injured foot,” she woes.

Meanwhile, several former residents of EWS told this correspondent that volunteers, from the civil society, who were trying to provide them with food and water, were often threatened by officials while carrying out their relief work. TOI couldn’t independently verify this report. But, this hasn’t changed their mind to move out from the area.

 

“I have been living here for 22 years now, and I can’t be forced to leave as I have the proper documents verifying my claim to my house,” said Vijayalakshmi, a domestic help, who had earlier threatened the authorities that she would immolate herself in an act of protest.

 

Showing her injuries, which she claimed to have got from the police, the lady added,

 

“I have been promised a house by BBMP but I am yet to hear from them. I will not leave this place as long as justice is delivered to me.”

 

Among the evicted many have found refuge in the most unlikely of places like temples and bus stops, but they haven’t given up their dreams of getting their homes back yet.

 

“I am all alone since my daughter and son have married and moved away. My husband is suffering from a mental illness for the last 40 years,” said 75-year-old Shanti.

 

“All I want is a house where I can die peacefully,” she added.

 

Medha Patkar visit EWS

Social activist Medha Patkar, who visited the Ejipura EWS quarters on Thursday, said that the issue will be taken up to a higher level with the help of senior lawyers like Sanjay Parikh and Prashant Bhushan. The Narmada Bachao Andolan veteran, who was supposed to arrive at the location at about 1.15 pm, finally made her way at about 2.40 pm, and interacted with residents and the deprived lot of the area.

 

“What has happened here is clearly an example of land grabbing by the Maverick Holdings and Investments Private Limited. The demolished site sprawling across 15 acres of the land is worth about Rs 3,500 crore. It is indeed a robbery of Rs 3500 crore from state exchequer. What the state government has done is completely against the constitution and the judiciary has been misbriefed about the land dispute case,” she said.

 

 

 

Attn Delhi- Consultation-Land Right Struggles: Prospects and Challenges @13Dec


A Consultation of Activists, Academia and Members of Parliament


Date: 13th December 2012
Time: 10am-5.30pm
Venue: Second Floor, International Conference Centre, YMCA,
New Delhi

Dear friends

‘Land’ and land related issues and conflicts have grabbed media headlines for quite some time now. However, from the days of India’s independence, land related discourse has undergone some substantial vicissitudes.

We have seen this land debate ranging from distribution, reforms, ‘Bhudan’ and acquisition to land capture. In the recent times, however, the discourse has moved on to accommodate the new forms of land struggles happening in the form of ‘land reclamation’, too.

The evolution of people’s struggles and movements across the countryside and in the peripheral regions of Indian metros has seen a shift from struggles for enhanced compensations and rehabilitation to struggles that challenge the very ‘Development’ (now ‘Growth’) paradigm. From ‘Jaan Denge, Zameen Nahi Denge’, the struggles have gone on to assert ‘Jaan bhi nahi, Zameen bhi nahi Denge’ and ‘Jo Zameen Sarkari Hei; Woh Zameen Hamari hei’. The country is dotted with communities resisting State sponsored land grab which resonate the demand for a just law to ensure that there is no forced acquisition of land and resources, including minerals and ground water. The voices from movements across places such as Narmada, Koel Karo, Singur, Nandigram, Sonbhadra, Chindwara, Bhavnagarm, Kalinga Nagar, Kashipur, Raigarh, Srikakulam and mining areas in central India have been putting their protests against the longstanding crisis concerning Land Acquisition and Resettlement & Rehabilitation

It is in this context that the Sangharsh collective is organising a one-day consultation in Delhi on the 13th of December 2012, from 10am to 5.30pm, at YMCA, Patel Chowk, New Delhi to discuss the prospects and challenges facing the new assertive land rights movements. The discussion will be joined by the representatives of political parties, Members of Parliament, representatives of mass movements, academics from across the country.

We do hope you will be able to join the consultation on an important legislation and enrich the debate with your inputs and experiences.

In Solidarity,

Yours Sincerely,

Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan – NAPM
Ashok Choudhary – National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers
Roma, Kaimur Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti – NFFPFW
Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Chattisgarh – NAPM
Guman Singh, Him Niti Abhiyan, Himachal Pradesh
Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Bhumi Bachao Andolan – NAPM
Dr. Rupesh Kumar, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti,UP- NAPM
Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, Uttarakhand – NAPM

contact: madhuresh 9818905316 | sanjeev 9958797409 | shweta 9911528696
email: madhuresh@napm-india.org | sanjeev@delhiforum.net | shweta.tripathi@sruti.org.in | 

 

Narmada Bachao Andolan is not against development


‘We are not against development’

Dev Ram Kanera, a farmer from Khaparkheda village in Dhar district, Madhya Pradesh, has been raising his voice against the injustice wrought by dams in the Narmada Valley. He talks about three decades of struggle.

Dev Ram Kanera
Dev Ram Kanera, 59, Activist, Narmada Bachao AndolanPhoto: Sarang Sena

EDITED EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW

How did it all begin?
It was towards the end of the 1970s. The struggle against dams in the Narmada Valley was still in the initial stages. One day I was returning to my village from the market on a bicycle and stopped at a tea stall. I met a group of four or five persons, including a young woman. She asked me the name of my village. I told her. She said my village came under the submergence zone, that my house, fields and granary will all go under water. She asked me if I knew what I would get in lieu of what I would lose. I had no clue about all this. Then she said that we should ask the government. The woman was Medha Patkar, and that was the day I joined the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

What change have you experienced since joining the movement?
Of course, there was change. Only those who remained committed to the movement could get their voices heard, to some extent at least. The compensation rates were raised. The government agreed not to raise the height of the dam. But those who did not do anything and stayed away from the movement faced the greatest injustice. They got almost nothing for the land and houses that they gave up.

What exactly have you been opposing?
We are not against development. We are only opposing the way in which development is being imposed on people. Our houses and fields are being submerged in the name of generating electricity, but the electricity does not reach us. We don’t want as much electricity as a five-star hotel demands, we ask for only the minimum that we need. But even that eludes us. In short, the very people who sacrifice the most for development are the ones who are ignored the most in the process. This cannot go on.

Vikas Bahuguna is Chief Copy Editor, Tehelka Hindi.
vikas@tehelka.com


 

People’s Power Challenges State Power; Refuses to Bow Down to State Terror


 

Medha Patkar, Dayamani Barla, and others Bail Plea Not Heard Today

 

Chindwada / Narmada Valley / Jobat / Pune / Mumbai, November 5 : In a series of incidents various movements affiliated with National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) stood up to administration and state terror today. Bowing under the pressure from people and various quarters they have resorted to further illegalities and arrests. They have no answer to the truthful and peaceful struggles of people for their rights and justice.

 

Medha Patkar, National Convener was arrested late last night in Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh along with Mukesh Bhagoriya of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Rakesh, Devi Singh and others of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, who were forcefully evicted from Satyagraha site. Against this illegal arrest and administration’s refusal to allow any meeting with her lawyer or others Medha Patkar started hunger strike in the jail itself. She has slip disc and is in pain, a doctor was called for medical check up but she needs medical attention. Later in evening, City Magistrate K B Tripathi refused to accept bail application of Medha and ors citing administration pressure. When pressed to give in writing by layer D K Prajapati, Judge left the court. Lawyers have faxed a complaint with the bail application to the Chief Justice of Jabalpur High Court. As we write Collector Mahesh Choudhri has called for a dialogue with the activists. See details of the yesterday’s happenings here http://napm-india.org/node/818

 

Bail plea for Aradhana Bhargava was also filed today in Chaurai Court. Dr. Sunilam’s bail plea in Jabalpur High Court is yet to be filed. Preprations are ongoing at the moment. Situation in Chindwara continues to be tensed with police terrorising farmers and not allowing their entry in town or meeting with arrested activists.

 

Meanwhile, Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Swami Agnivesh, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture, Jan Sangharsh Morcha, National Forum of Forest People and Forest People, INSAF and other movement groups condemned the illegal arrest and high handedness of the police and MP government. People’s Union for Civil Liberties also apporached National Human Rights Commission seeking their immediate intervention in the matter.

Delhi Solidarity Group, AISA, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM and other groups have called for a demonstration infront of the Madhya Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi tomorrow, November 7th at 2:30pm.

 

Dayamani Barla’s Bail Plea Not Heard Today in Ranchi

 

Meanwhile, today Dayamani Barla’s bail application came for hearing but the Magistrate could not appear due to sickness. The matter has now been listed for November 8th hearing. Ranchi police has also now charged her with another case related to resistance against land acquisition for IIM Ranchi in Nangdi village, near Ranchi. Earlier in morning Dr. Sandeep Pandey, National Convener, NAPM went and met Dayamani Barla in jail and extended solidarity. http://napm-india.org/node/813

 

200 projects affected people arrested and produced in Court in Pune

 

In Pune, today 200 affected people from Wang Marathwadi dam, Lavasa Hill city project and 100 year old Tata dam in Pune district were arrested by police after they finished an hour and half long meeting with Divisional Commissioner, Prabhakar Deshmukh at his office. They had gathered infront of the DC office after giving adequate notice, but the DC refused to meet them. Later he met them after much persistence and gave assurances to take action on the issues pertaining to resettlement and rehabilitation for the Wang Marathwadi dam affected people who faced submergence in August and organised jal satyagraha against illegal submergence. DC also promised to provide the caste certificate to the tribals living in Lavasa hill city area whose land has been illegally acquired for the project. Activists also demanded action against the Lavasa corporation which is carrying on the construction in violation of the High Court and MoEF‘s stop work order. They also demanded that administration take action for regularization of 80 years settlements of the project affected people of Tata Dam in Lonavala area, since they have received eviction notices from the Municipal Corporation. It needs to be noted that Tata is holding 27,000 acres of extra land acquired from farmers but is not making available land for the projects affected families, who are now living in upper reaches of hills next to reservoir. However,, Tata’s have sold land to film stars and resorts for their profit, but district administration has refused to take action against this after many representations.

 

Suniti S R, National Convener, NAPM said that they will not seek bail from the Court and would rather go to jail. Activists continue to be in the Court as we write this.

 

Sion Koliwada, Mumbai Slum Rehabilitation Scheme Update

In a separate incidence, in Sion Kolidwada, Mumbai, Sahana group (Sudhakar Reddy’s) developer for the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme came under heavy police protection to fence the land including six houses which could not be demolished in May earlier this year. It needs to be noted that in May – June, Sion Koliwada faced demolitions and Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao activists were in jail for more than 10 days. Builders came today citing a court order and police provided them security on the same ground. “But what about other court order which says builder illegally got the deal in first place itself, why are you not taking action on that”, asks Madhuri Shivakar, GBGB activist who was herself in jail at that time. See NAPM’s earlier update on this issue http://www.napm-india.org/node/820 and http://napm-india.org/node/819

 

Narmada Bachao Andolan Reaps the Harvest at the Occupied Farm Land in Jobat

Today, nearly 400 quintal of Jowar and Maize produce was distributed amongst the adivasis affected by the Jobat and Sardar Sarovar dams. They have been collectively farming on the land occupied by the Narmada Bachao Andolan for more than a year now. NBA resorted to Zameen Haq Satyagraha in Jobat on the government agriculture farm since the adminsitration has failed to provide for resettlement and rehabilitation of the project affected people, inspite of several court orders and Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal. “We will continue to occupy the land and grow food on it until we get our due rights. Adivasis and farmers are being robbed of their possession and MP government is giving land tocompanies in investors meet. We will continue our struggle for rights of the people affected by dams on Narmada,” said Shrikanth of Narmada Bachao Andolan.

 

For details call : Madhuresh 9818905316 or write to napmindia@gmail.com

 

Immediate Release-Medha Patkar and Activists Detained in Chindwada, Start Satyagraha


Kisan Sangharsh Samiti Intensifies Agitation; Support Pours in From Across Country

Chindwada, November 4 : The situation in Chindwada continues to remain tense with heavy police presence deployed to intimidate the farmers, labourers and adivasis protesting illegal commencement of work on the Pench Water Diversion Project.

Medha Patkar, National Convener, NAPM who travelled from Indore and Chindwada and reached in the wee hours today was stopped and checked at virtually every station by the police and also surrounded by 50 police men at the Chindwada station, where the Tehsildar and other officials tried to restrain her from proceeding further, insisting that she must go to the Circuit House.

She was told that Sec 144 has been imposed in Chindwada and the entry of people in three tehsils of Chhindwada, Amarwada and Chouri has been prohibited from October 30th - orders have been issued. When asked for the copy of the same she was denied that. This is baseless and illegal, since on Novembr 3rdShri Sartaj Singh, Forest Minister, GoMP held a public programme distributing tendu patta bonus, same day BJP Kisan Morcha also held a convention in Chourai. At the same time Deen Dayal Antyodaya Mela was organised as well as adventure sports programme was organised too in Tamiya. “Is the Section 144 for only for activists going to Bamanwara?” asked Medha Patkar.

A huge police force has gheraoed the house of Adv. Aradhana Bhargava, leader of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, who was arrested on false charges under Sec 151 IPC on November 3rd itself and has been sent to judicial custody. Today police also arrestedBrajkishore Chaurasia, Yuva Kranti Dal and Dr. Rajkumar Sanodia of KSS.

The farmers and people are not being allowed to meet Medha Patkar and others by the police. Protesting the high handedness of the district administration Medha Patkar along with Mukesh Bagoria, Rahul Yadav of Narmada Bachao AndolanAdvocate Sushma Prajapati, Akhil Bhartiya Gondwana Kisan Mahapanchayat, National Vice President; Devaki Marawi and Rajesh Tiwari of Bargi and Bheemgarh Bandh Visthapit Sangh; Jameel Khan of KSS and other representatives of the Pench Project and Adani Power Project affected families have sat on Satyagraha, until they are allowed to proceed to the villages.

It needs to be noted that for past few days police has been spreading canards and terrorizing them too. Even then villagers have been protesting at Vamanwada, 3 kms away from Machagora and have been on a peaceful sit in. More than a thousand police men are surrounding the dharna site. The agitation will continue until the forceful and illegal eviction and acquisition of land is stopped.

NAPM has decided to extend complete support to the struggle and in absence of Dr. Sunilam and Aradhana Bhargava, (both are NAPM Conveners) Medha Patkar and others will lead the struggle in Chindwara and Multai and fight for the rights of farmers and farm workers.

Support has been pouring in from different movements across the country. Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat, State Advocate D K Prajapati,Madhya Pradesh Pensioners Association, State Secretary T M R Naidu, Samta Party State President Suresh Sharma, Akhil Bhartiya Gondwana Kisan Mahapanchayat President Shri Chand Chauriya, Azadi Bachao Andolan, Chindwara J L Mishra, Ashok Choudhary and Roma from NFFPFW, Anurag Modi of Jan Sangharsh Morcha, Madhya Pradesh and others have condemned the incidence and lent their support to the movement.

Background : It needs to be noted that agitation against these two project Pench Water Diversion Project (PWDP) and Adani Pench Power Project (APPP), Chindwara has been ongoing in a peaceful manner since 2004. PWDP involves construction of a 51 meter dam on Pench river, submerging 5600 Hectares of land of 31 villages. The project planned in 80s got a one page clearance from Department of Environment in 1984 (MoEF was not there then) for irrigation purposes. The clearance is no longer valid and requires a fresh clearance under Environment Protection Act 1986 and also under EIA notifications. Acquisition process was started back then, some farmers were given throw away compensation but acquisition process was never completed since the work didn’t start. Till today farmers continue to cultivate and grow 2-3 crops in a year from the fertile land.

After the agitation, the compensation was increased to nearly a lakh rupee an acre but 90 percent of the farmers have refused to accept it and are not willing to part their land. In 2011, May Dr,. Sunilam and Adv Aradhana Bhargava were attacked by the goons which they survived but the administration failed to take any action. Many of the farmers in fact along with Aradhana Bhargava spent more than a week in jail on false charges of arson, loot and obstructing public officials.

PWDP today is to be constructed for supplying water to the APPP, diverting water meant for the farmers. Last year KSS along with NAPM met Environment Minister, Ms. Jayanti Natarajan , who informed the delegation that no clearance has been granted to the PWDP and under the law they are supposed to have prior Environment Clearance. The PWDP is going to threaten the forests of Pench National Park and Tiger Project too. So, in all senses it makes no sense to be constructing this but even then MoEF has not taken any actionMr. Kamal Nath, MP and Union Minister from Chindwara has been personally involved in ensuring that the project goes on and been supporting the APPP as well. Madhya Pradesh Government on the other hand has been in complete hand in glove with Mr. Kamal Nath. It is no wonder that Dr. Sunilam and other activists of KSS got life sentence in a case where 24 farmers were killed by police on January 12, 1998. None of the police officers have been punished till date, not a single FIR has been filed in that case. It is a clear case of conspiracy and collusion between BJP and Congress in the interest of Adani.

 

For details call NAPM : 9818905316 or 9179617513