Tag Archives: NBA

HC to Govt: Form high- level committee to settle issues


PILs on Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar

Indore: The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court, on Tuesday, in response to a Public Interest Litigation ( PIL), directed the State Government to form a high- level committee to settle issues of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar projects.

Double bench of Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice JK Maheshwari directed the Government to constitute a high- level committee to hear issues raised by the Narmada Bachao Andolan ( NBA). The committee should comprise of Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary of Narmada Valley Development Authority ( NVDA) and Secretary, agriculture and water resources.

In the litigation, NBA chief Medha Patkar informed the court about the devastating effect in the rainy season due to non- implementation of canal project. Shortage of drainage system has caused enormous loss already while the affected farmers are not even noticed let alone compensation to them.

In its verdict, the HC also look into consideration of the State Government report and the affidavit filed by expert committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forest. The court observed that the State Government is non- serious about the NVDA matter and the latest report by the expert committee of MoEF, several previous reports, and other evidence stand testimony to it.

Patkar of NBA said that the formation of a high- level committee would help in fair and open dialogue on various issues, thus giving right treatment to the farmers and actual beneficiaries. She said that issues of rehabilitation for farmers who lost considerable chunk of their land would also be discussed with the committee.

Web: http://freepressjournal.in/hc-to-govt-form-high-level-committee-to-settle-issues/#sthash.k6rCKLqr.dpuf

Form panel for issues relating to Indira Sagar project: HC


INDORE: Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court on Tuesday directed the state government to constitute a high-level committee under chief secretary to discuss and resolve issues pertaining to Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar canal project in Narmada valley.
A double bench of Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice J K Maheshwari, while hearing a PIL over Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Canal project, directed that a high level committee, comprising chief secretary, principal secretary of Narmada valley development department (NVDD) and secretary, agriculture and water resources will hear issues raised by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and those in the PIL in first week of March.
Medha Patkar, appearing in person, highlighted the adverse impact that has occurred and bound to occur in the coming monsoon due to non-implementation of the ‘on-farm development’ and ‘command area development’ in the canal project. Lack of adequate drainage works in numerous villages from Phase – I to Phase – IV of the project has caused massive loss and affected farmers are neither counted nor compensated. HC also took cognizance of ‘action taken report’, filed by state government and affidavit filed by expert committee of ministry of environment and forest (MoEF), highlighting inadequacies in canal and command area planning and execution by NVDA, which has led to severe impact on agricultural land causing crop loss.
Court pulled up state government over the way the project is being executed and observed that the government is treating it in a very non-serious manner, which is evident from the recent report of expert committee of MoEF, filed after their recent visit in January 2014 and in a series of earlier reports, recommendations and letters of MoEF.
Patkar expressed satisfaction over HC’s direction to form high level committee and said it would lead to a fair, open and conclusive dialogue on various outstanding issues, so that fruits of the project reach actual beneficiaries and needy farmers on time.
Issues of rehabilitation and compensation for farmers, losing less than 60% land would also be discussed before the committee.
Web:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/indore/Form-panel-for-issues-relating-to-Indira-Sagar-project-HC/articleshow/30647952.cms

MPHC Chief Justice assures that Narmada canal work would be subject to full compliance with law & judicial orders


Court directs Principal Secretary, NVDD to comply with all social and environmental, aspects after 3 days of hearing. 

MoEF must report to Court: All project-related grievances to be addressed by the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA)

The Madhya Pradesh High Court concluded three days of intense hearing of various parties in the matter of planning and implementation of the Omkareshwar (OSP) and Indira Sagar Canals (ISP), involving investment of thousands of crores of rupees from the state exchequer and affecting the lives and livelihoods of thousands of canal-affected adivasis and other farmers in the districts of Khandwa, Khargone, Dhar and Badwani in the state.

Taking serious note of the large number of social and environmental issues and impacts in the overall canal work, the Court summoned Mr. Rajnish Vaish, Principal Secretary, NVDD, from Bhopal and took an undertaking from him that the State would ensure full compliance with all the laws and judicial orders. Mr. Vaish filed an affidavit in the Court today, after consulting the Chief Secretary, as per directions issued yesterday and indicated the targets for completion of the Omkareshwar canal work. The Affidavit also states that there are no financial constraints for executing the canal and command area works, which also implies funds for compensation must also be made available.

He also reported that much of the work on the Omkareshwar canals are complete. NBA has contested these claims and further hearing on this specific aspect shall continue after vacation. Welcoming the CJ’s, initiative to resolve all the outstanding issues within the framework of law, NBA presented its Plan of Action to the Court and stated that if the work would have to be target based, all the pre-conditions such as rehabilitation, environmental safeguards, payment of compensation for losses, redressal of grievances etc. must, review of canals in irrigated villages must also be in a time bound manner.

NBA insisted that as on date, the MoEF has NOT given a final clearance to the canal work, per se and this Hon’ble Court must be guided by the framework set out by the Hon’ble Apex Court for the canal work. The MoEF has only approved about 600 Command Area Development (CAD) Plans and not the canal work. Plans for about 500 villages are yet to be submitted and overall implementation is far from satisfactory, as is reported in numerous reports of expert Committees. Medha Patkar, pleading in person also reported that farmers from the field, in hundreds from Phase – I to Phase –III in both projects are facing severe impacts of canal breaches, seepage, crop loss, water logging , health impacts etc, since the protective and pre-conditional on-farm and off farm safeguard measures have not been implemented, while the contractors have been paid hefty sums for the canal work.

The Division Bench of Hon’ble Chief Justice, Shri Justice A.N. Khanvilkar and Hon’ble Justice Shantanu Kemkar also inquired from the parties and issued directions to implead various other authorities such as Narmada Control Authority, Planning Commission etc. in the case. The Bench expressed its mind to issue appropriate directions to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for ensuring compliance with all the recommendations of the Expert Committee and also stated that the Ministry would be required to report back periodically to the Court.

Referring to the people’s agitation being shown as a ‘barrier’, by the state, the CJ asked as to why would people agitate if their issues are solved and demands met within the framework of law. The Bench also agreed that there is a clear need to expand the terms of the Grievance Redressal Authority in order to address all categorizes of project-related grievances such as muck disposal, crop losses due to water logging etc. The Hon’ble Justices stated that the Court would not hesitate to even invoke its power of contempt in case the concerned authorities fail to comply with its directions.

The Bench stated that it would issue a reasoned order by 2nd January, 2014 and would constantly monitor the progress on work as well as compliance of various legal stipulations. This phase of hearing is significant since it addresses some critical issues raised by two public interest petitions on the Omkareshwar (OSP) and Indira Sagar Canals (ISP). NBA’s petition was filed in March, 2013, on behalf of thousands of canal – affected families (CAFs) many of those are already seriously affected by the canal network. This petition raises serious issues of social and environmental impacts, lack of rehabilitation, unnecessary excavation of canals in irrigated villages, severe crop losses etc.  The other petition was filed by one Mr. Virendra Patidar, complaining of slow work, illegalities by the contractor, corruption, impacts of water logging in the 1st Phase of the Omkareshwar Project.

The struggle in the Court and on the field shall continue on various issues such as non-compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court, recommendations of the Expert Committees of the Union Environment Ministry, lack of rehabilitation, severe crop loss in dozens of villages due to water logging and muck disposal and lack of compensation for the same, lack of dialogue and use of police force on aggrieved farmers etc.

Medha Patkar pleaded on behalf of the canal-affected farmers. Adv. Dharmedra Chelawat appeared for the petitioner in the other case, Mr. Virendra Patidar. Shri Shekhar Bhargava pleaded for the GoMP / NVDA. Affected farmers were also present in the Court today.

Meera            Ramsing bhai           Mukesh Bhagoria              

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Modi’s political silence in Badwani, M. P. Exposes fake claims of ‘free power’ and ‘full rehabilitation’


For Immediate Release                 22ndNovember, 2013                                                                                                            

 

Modi’s political silence in Badwani, M. P.

Exposes fake claims of ‘free power’ and ‘full rehabilitation’

 

Mr. Narendra Modi, for the first time, in his political career, held a public meeting at Badwani, in the electoral campaign for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. Badwani, being the centre of the Narmada Bachao Andolan since the last 28 years and Mr. Modi having taken up the issue of Sardar Sarovar Dam, as a campaign from Gujarat to Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the entire country waited to watch what Mr. Modi would say or would not ! Thousands of adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers and others from the valley were also watching and waiting to know what statement he would make by raising a forum in the valley itself. They were also ready to stand up and react to anything that Modi was expected to state on Sardar Sarovar Dam, at the cost of their rights and life. Mr. Modi however did not give them this opportunity as he showed no courage to repeat the lies at the valley he uttered at Bhopal or at the Sardar Patel statue inauguration at Kevadia. Thus, all his lies of free power and full rehabilitation were proved to be as fake, since he did not display the guts to repeat his lies ! He was speechless on the issue on the issue of Narmada, he only vaguely referred to ‘development’ with no ideological content as usual and trying to blame ‘unknown forces’ for stalling the same.While the people certainly missed an opportunity to question him, as he flew away within half an hour, the situation brings forth that the real people’s power matters much more than the Modi-political power. The non-violent, non-electoral politics of social movements too can make a difference, we assert.

It was during his public meetings first in Pune and then at Bhopal that he had very confidently claimed that these two states would receive 400 MW and 800 MW of ‘free power’ from the Sardar Sarovar Dam. NBA had promptly challenged this falsehood and the claim that the UPA Government was not permitting the dam height to be raised, stalling the progress of the state of Madhya Pradesh and that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra is proving to be week by not giving consent to further construction, till rehabilitation. Modi also did not answer any questions that the NBA raised on the eve of his meeting. His false promise of lighting up the whole of Madhya Pradesh if the dam could be raised from 110 to 100 mts, voiced in 2005 from a similar public meeting at Anjad, a township adjacent to the submergence area obviously stood exposed.

Without any facts and figures, he was making such baseless claims only to promote his party with an eye on the vote bank, not only in Madhya Pradesh for the upcoming elections, but also the 2014 elections and his prime ministerial candidature. Even the congress as an opposition party in the state, with only Mr. Harish Rawat as an exception, could not exhibit its strength and courage to challenge Mr. Modi on the issue of Narmada, with huge scale of displacement of thousands of families due to not just Sardar Sarovar, but tens of other dams in the alley, affecting lakhs of adivasi, farmers and others, inspite of there being a solid vote bank, the task fell upon the NBA.

NBA, following its unique way of intervening into electoral politics adopted since 1990, in the Sardar Sarovar affected region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, organized mass Lok Manch inviting the candidates at two places at Badwani and Dharampuri, covering 5 electoral constituencies. Most of the candidates belonging to the Congress, BJP (Kukshi) CPI, NCP, Independents had turned up in Badwani, while both the mainstream parties, BJP and Congress avoided the programme in Dharampuri. The voter-citizens and the long term agitators  are obviously upset with those who did not turn up and are also knowledgeable of the push and pull applied to the Sardar Sarovar Dam without any sensitivity and concern for the displaced, for the nature. It was therefore, obviously known to the parties that their votes are going to affected and decided by their opposition or negligence to the people’s struggle on their rights. Will Modi ever be ready for an open debate on what is true development? NBA appeals to all political parties to come forward and hold an ideological debate with the people’s movements, rather than showing lollipops of smart phones to washing machines and laptops.

Saavabehan                Devram Kanera                     Kailash Awasya          Medha Patkar         

लोहे के सरदार और सरदार सरोवर – विमल भाई, माटू जनसंगठन


बांध की 90 मीटर ऊंचाई से प्रभावित अलिराजपुर एवं बड़वानी जिले के पहाड़ी गाँवों के सैकड़ों आदिवासी परिवारों की कृषि ज़मीन तथा मकान 15 बरसों से जलाशय के नीचे चले गए। मगर किसी भी परिवार को मध्य प्रदेश में सर्वोच्च अदालत के आदेशानुसार सिंचित, कृषि-योग्य, उपयुक्त एवं बिना अतिक्रमण वाली ज़मीन का आवंटन नहीं हुआ।  Continue reading

Gujarat farmers set to lose water from the Narmada canal network


(This Down to Earth report confirms what NBA was stressing since long that water will never reach to Kutch and used by farmers but will be diverted for industrial uses alone. – NBA) Continue reading

Narmada Bachao Andolan leader accuses MP government of trying to suppress movement


Addressing a press conference, NBA leader, Alok Agrawal said that a ‘jal satyagraha’ was being observed against the dam by a group of project-affected people in the three districts of Khandwa, Harda and Dewas since September 1.

The NBA leader said that his organization demanded that instead of using the police to suppress their agitation, the Madhya Pradesh government should try to stop the injustice being done to the project-affected people and ensure that they get their rights.

Agrawal said that an NBA delegation met Sushma Swaraj, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and urged her to look into the problem. He said that she gave them a patient hearing and assured that she would talk to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan about the issue.

 

Khandwa: Unmoved by police crackdown, protesters continue to observe ‘Jal Satyagraha’


khandwa-unmoved-by-police-crackdown-protesters-continue-to-observe-jal-satyagraha_040913112655

Despite a police crackdown, a “jal satyagraha” by those affected by the Indira Sagar Project (ISP) entered the second day on Tuesday as 163 protesters were arrested from Mel Pipaliya village in Dewas district and another 200 were arrested from Bichhola village in Harda district. In a press release issued in Harda on Tuesday, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) claimed that 163 people, including 63 women arrested from Mel Pipalia village were sent to jail, while 200 arrested from Bichhola village were released later. However, Harda Collector Rajnish Shrivastava said that about 35 people were arrested and subsequently released from Bichhola for violating prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The police also confirmed that those arrested from Mel Pipalia village were sent to jail.
Meanwhile, hundreds of displaced people began a “jal satyagraha” in Malud village in Khandwa district, while demonstrations were held in Mandleshwar and Omkareshwar in support of those affected by the project, the release said. They submitted a memorandum addressed to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan demanding that all arrested people including senior NBA leader Chittaroopa should be freed immediately and that the just demands of the project affected people be met with immediate effect. Condemning the MP government’s repression, NBA leader Alok Agrawal demanded that instead of arresting project affected people, it should work on the demands of rightful rehabilitation of the oustees and give them their legitimate rights. The NBA demanded that as per Supreme Court and High Court directives, the water level of the ISP project should not cross the 260-metre mark. It also pointed out that a minimum of five acres of land should be given as compensation to those whose lands were submerged due to the project, while Rs 2.5 lakh should be given to labourers.

NBA to protest compensation to dam-hit farmers


Bhopal: Dissatisfied over the compensation awarded by the Madhya Pradesh government to farmers affected by the construction of Omkareshwar dam, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) on Sunday decided to launch a ‘satyagraha’ on the issue from June 18.

Terming the announcement for the farmers as a violation of Supreme Court ruling and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy of the government, NBA activist Alok Agrawal announced to stage ‘Narmada Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha’ from June 18-22 in the state capital.

“While we wholeheartedly welcome the compensation of Rs 2.5 lakh for the landless families, the additional Rs two lakh per acre grant for farmers (land owners) is inadequate and in violation of the Supreme Court ruling and rehabilitation policy,” the NBA leader told reporters.

The state government recently announced a package of Rs 212 crore for the oustees of Omkareshwar Dam following the formation of a ministerial committee that was constituted in the aftermath of ‘Jal-Satyagraha’ protests by the affected persons in 2012. 

“The announcement of Rs 212 crore package is a huge victory for the landless oustees,” he said.
Referring to the compensation awarded to land owners (farmers), he said, “The package for the farmers is in violation of the orders and judgements of the Supreme Court and the Rehabilitation Policy of the government.”

He said that as per the Rehabilitation Policy, each displaced farmer is to be allotted a minimum of five acre of agriculture land with a minimum of two hectare of irrigated one, but it was not being followed.

Secondly, the grant of additional Rs two lakh in addition to what they have got earlier is much below the current market rates and with that amount they won’t be able to buy any land.

He also termed as ‘unlawful’ the condition of eviction from the submergence area by July 15 for availing compensation.

Zee News

Web. http://zeenews.india.com/news/madhya-pradesh/nba-to-protest-compensation-to-dam-hit-farmers_853918.html

NBA seeks cancellation of Maheshwar power purchase


New Delhi: Narmada Bachao Andolan and lawyer -activist Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday demanded that MP government cancel the power purchase agreement of the Maheshwar project and ensure that no further public money is spent on it.
Bhushan also demanded that a case be registered against the then Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh for asking LIC to give more money to the project.
He said Singh be booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the case should be handled by the CBI.
“The project cost which was Rs 465 crore then has now reached Rs 4,200 crore. Till date they (the private firm) have taken about Rs 3,200 crore from the government and have transfered that money to its other accounts. Even RBI has declared it as illegal.

“A case of corruption and fraud should be registered against the promoters as well as Digvijay Singh,” Bhushan told a press conference here. 

Other NBA activists demanded that MP government cancel the power purchase agreement for the Maheshwar project.

Pointing out at the slow rehabilitation process of those displaced due to the power project, Bhushan said only one- fourth of the estimated rehabilitation cost had been given by the company in last 20 years.

“Eighty-five per cent of those displaced are yet to be rehabilitated for the last 16 years. In the last 20 years they have only given one-fourth of the estimated rehabilitation cost,” Bhushan claimed.

He also said the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board has registered 20 cases against the company and investigations are going on for the last nine years.
Last year the Advocate General of Madhya Pradesh had advised the state government to terminate the project as the company had defaulted, he added.

Zee News

web. http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/nba-seeks-cancellation-of-maheshwar-power-purchase_828667.html