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.

 

PRESS RELEASE–M.P. Govt must stop betrayal of thousands of project-oustees


 

 

 and respond to the Jal and Jammen Satyagraha

The farmers, labourers, potters and fish workers in the Sardar Sarovar affected areas, many of whom are also affected by the canals of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Projects and those affected by the Jobat Dam warn the Government of Madhya Pradesh against its totally insensitive attitude and illegal moves, destroying the lands and livelihoods of thousands of oustees affected by the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Projects. We stand by the nature based communities, the women and men who on the 14th day of the Jal Satyagraha, are facing the waters, protesting against the Government’s plan to make their villages a watery grave and evict them by the watery force. About 2,500 land holder families in Omkareshwar and thousands of families in Indira Sagar are pushed, not merely into ‘submergence’, but ‘destruction’ zone, that too without prior and legal rehabilitation.

 

It is absolute injustice meted out to the adivasi and non-adivasi farmers and the Madhya Pradesh Government has violated all norms, both its own Rehabilitation Policy and Judgements of the Supreme Court. In total contempt of the communities living in the Narmada valley since generations, the Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his cabinet is refusing to acknowledge not just the gross illegalities but also the truth and non-violence expressed through the Jal Satyagraha of the oustees and the activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan, Chittaroopa Palit and Alok Agarwal.

 

They refuse to take note of the scenario wherein not one but all dams in the Narmada valley are pushed ahead illegally, with scant respect for environment, law and justice. The two Ministers, as envoys of the CM, who visited the site of the Satyagaraha yesterday, failed to put forth any concrete proposal before the Satyagrahis and the oustees. The Centre too, through the Narmada Control Authority and the Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Environment have not promptly intervened in this critical situation, appearing to be beyond control when not one but at least waters from 8 dams are released and the downstream areas are flooded, destroying hundreds of acres of standing land and houses.

 

In Sardar Sarovar, the oustees of ISP and OSP have flooded more than 300 houses, along with a few shops in Nisarpur and hundreds of acres of standing crop in dozens of farms, across villages. The SSP is however, stopped and no permission is granted for any further raise in height, since 40,000 families are still residing in the submergence zone and huge scandal of Corruption in the Rehabilitation is unearthed and is under scrutiny by Justice Jha Commission.

 

However, while in SSP, for the last 27 years of struggle including Jal Satyagraha to Jal Samadhi, agitations have led to the land-based rehabilitation of 11,000 families in Maharashtra and Gujarat, but not one is rehabilitated in Madhya Pradesh. The situation is same in all the large dams in the Madhya Prdaesh part of the Narmada valley – Bargi, Maheshwar, Omkareshwar, Indira Sagar, Maan, Jobat, Veda, Goi etc. This is self-evident of the state government’s disrespect for the adivasis and farmers. Madhya Pradesh is locating and allocating land for investors across the globe but denies the same to the project – affected and only forces them to accept rocky, uncultivable or decades-old encroached land from its ‘Waste Land Bank’.The same insensitivity is reflected in its silence in dealing concretely with the 10 month long Jobat Zameen Haq Satyagraha by the SSP oustees, mostly the hilly adivasis, displaced since 1994. The oustees who are on the verge of reaping the second crop on the government seed farm land they have ‘occupied’ since 10 months is another slap in the face of the State!

 

It is this callous attitude that is being challenged, staking lives and livelihoods in Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam affected areas today and the same must be responded to immediately. We appeal to all the agencies, including the NHRC, the Commission for Scheduled Tribes to intervene, at least now, after 15 days of the Satyagraha. The High Court and the Supreme Court can also take suo moto notice of the crisis and intervene to protect the rights and lives, with due respect to those sacrificing their land and village communities from the oldest of the civilizations, i.e. Narmada in ‘public interest’. If not, an intensified struggle all over will challenge the power holders on the entire issue of the Narmada valley.

 

Medha Patkar Devram Kanera Khema Vestha Shrikanth Ghokru Bhilala

Ph: 09423965153 / 09179148973

 

No end to water protest in Madhya Pradesh #Omkeshwardam


 

Reported by Siddharth Ranjan Das, Edited by Shamik Ghosh |  NDTV Updated: September 06, 2012 18:37 IST

PLAYClick to Expand & Play

BhopalIn Madhya Pradesh‘s Khandwa area, 51 people stayed immersed in water for the 13th day today in what’s being called a ‘jal satyagraha’. The protestors are demanding compensation and rehabilitation for villagers whose homes will be submerged under water after with the state government’s order of opening all the gates of the Omkareshwardam in Madhya Pradesh.With Narmada flowing above the danger levels, the government has little choice. However, the protestors, members of the ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan‘, say the government’s decision to increase the water level of the Omkareshdam on the Narmada without rehabilitating people living in low lying villages is a violation of a Supreme Court order, which says villagers must be rehabilitated at least six months before such a move is implemented.

“Till the time water level comes down to 189 and as per court orders, we get the 5 acre land. And labourers get Rs. 2.5 lakh. Till that time even if we die, we will sit here,” said one of the 51 protestors at Madhya Pradesh’s Ghogal village, who have been sitting in water for the past 13 days.

“In the water, fishes and crabs are biting us, our skin is affected and it is raining also,” said a protestor.

However, despite the deteriorating health of the protestors, the government has so far offered no medical help. No one from the local administration has visited the spot of the protest.

The water of the Omkareshwar Dam has already risen to 190.5 meters and its effects can been seen in Ghogal, Kaamankheda and 28 other villages, where crops have been damaged.

 

10th day of Jal Satyagraha – Video Appeal #OmkareshwarDam


This video depicts the plight of the ordinary Indian, when their government and courts abandon them. The video is made on the tenth day where the evictees of the Omkareshwar Dam, one of the 30 large dams constructed in the controversial Narmada Valley Project, have decided to protest by staying in neck-deep water, after the Madhya Pradesh state government in India decided to increase the water level to 196.60 meters, though many villagers who lost their land and livelihood are yet to be identified and adequately compensated by the government. This is from the 10th day of the protest in water.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received a report from the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) that a large group of villagers who have been evicted from their land without compensation for the construction of the Omkareshwar Dam are protesting against the illegal increase in the water level, beyond that is allowed by the Supreme Court of India. It is reported that in a unique form of protest held in East Nimaar region in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh state, the villagers have been sitting within the dam’s catchment area claiming that they are willing to drown to death than been denied their rightful claim for adequate rehabilitation for the lands they have lost.

In the meanwhile, water level is increased gradually in the dam, that soon the water would submerge the protesters. The protest has entered the 10th day today. In a litigation decided by the Supreme Court of India and earlier by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the courts have categorically instructed the government as well as the consortium managing the dam, that the water level should not be increased beyond 196.60 meters and that all steps are to be taken, so that those who are adversely affected by the dam, particularly those who have lost land by submergence, are properly identified and compensated before the reservoir is filled to its maximum capacity. NBA reports that so far the height of water was 189 meters and now the state government has declared that it would increase the water level to 193 meters. This however is done without rehabilitating those who have lost their land to submergence, which is a violation of the commitment made by the government in court and is against the court’s directives hence the protest. Civil society groups have condemned the total disregard of the government to the plight of the poor villagers.

MORE HERE

UPDATE- Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar Dam and jal satyagrah #mustshare


Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh: reduction in water levels of Omkareshwar and Indira sagar dam
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERVENES TO SAVE THE LIVES OF JAL SATYAGRAHIS & RECOMMENDS THE STATE & AUTHORITIES TO REDUCE WATER LEVELS

 
NBA‘S REPRESENTATIVE MEETS THE CHIEF SECRETARY OF THE NARMADA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO DISCUSS ON THE ISSUES
 
CONCERNED CITIZENS FROM VARIOUS PLACES RAISE THEIR VOICES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAL SATYAGRAHIS
 
JAL SATYAGRAHA CONTINUES FOR THE 7TH DAY AT GHOGHALGAON
 
 
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION INTERVENES TO SAVE THE LIVES OF JAL SATYAGRAHIS & RECOMMENDS THE STATE & AUTHORITIES TO REDUCE WATER LEVELS
A petition was submitted by a representative group regarding the on going Satyagraha in Ghoghalgaon highlighting the fact that water has reached up to the chin level of 51 Oustees who are standing in water for the past 7 days. Thus it was demanded that the water level be reduced to 189 meters in Omkareshwar Dam & 260 meters in Indira Sagar Dam. Observing the seriousness of the situation Acting Commissioner of the State Human Rights Commission, Shri. A.K. Saxena passed an interim order recommending the Chief Secretary, Commissioner of Indore Division & the Collector of Khandwa to reduce the water level in the Dams to save the precious lives of the Oustees.
NBA’S REPRESENTATIVE GROUP MEETS THE CHIEF SECRETARY OF THE NARMADA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT TO DISCUSS ON THE ISSUES
 
Under the aegis of Narmada Bachao Andolan a representative group of Oustees affected by Indira Sagar & Omkareshwar Dam met Shri. Rajneesh Vaish, Chief Secretary of the Narmada Valley Development Department. He was informed that the water level is being raised in Omkareshwar & Indira Sagar dams in violation of the orders of Supreme Court because of which, the houses & fields of Oustees are getting submerged without rehabilitation. It was demanded of him that the water level is reduced to 189 meters in Omkareshwar Dam & 260 meters in Indira Sagar Dam. Also, it was demanded that Land for Land and rehabilitation be completed by granting other rights relating to the same. it was also brought to his notice that the Satyagraha is on for the past 7 days in Ghoghalgaon & any further increase in water would lead to death of Satyagrahis. After listening to the group the Chief Secretary instructed the District Authorities & NHDC to resolve the issues at District level. And he would try to resolve the issues at the earliest after consulting the NVDA officials as well as with the Chief Minister’s office.
CONCERNED CITIZENS FROM VARIOUS PLACES RAISE THEIR VOICES IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE JAL SATYAGRAHIS
The Jal Satygraha continues to be strong & sturdy even as it reaches the 7th day. Number of concerned citizens from various places is extending their solidarity to the Satyagrahis. The water has reached till the chin level of the Satyagrahis early in the morning which has become a major issue. Few officials & volunteers of Narmada Bachao Andolan sat to protest against the water level increase outside the collector’s residence early in the morning & demanded an immediate reduction of the water levels to save the lives of the Satyagrahis. State wide protest was held by groups from Bhopal like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Group, M.P. Mahila Manch, Bhopal Cultural Group, All India Revolutionary Student’s Association, Muskaan etc., & In Indore by groups like All Indian  Women’s Association, Rupankan, Domestic Workers Union, Centre for People’s Development, AITUC, CPI, IPTA, IAC etc.. Some people from the affected villages of District Khargone staged a protest in Mandleshwar at Tehsildar’s office.
PLEASE  SIGN ONLINE PETITION
chief-minister-madhya-pradesh-reduction-in-water-levels-of-omkareshwar-and-indira-sagar-dam
 

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