Do not forcibly evict Narmada dam oustees till rehabilitation sites are prepared: Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
|Medha Patkar, others on fast in Chikhalda|
The Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award (NWDTA) clearly provided that after completion of the R&R, the Project Affected Families (PAFs) should be given 6 months time before submergence. This condition was emphasized in the Supreme Court judgments given in the year 2000 and 2005 in the Sardar Sarovar Case. The requirement of six months has been recognized, as part of Article 21 in Tehri dam case also. The Order dated 8.2.2017 of the Supreme Court also assured completion of R&R.
The Supreme Court in its judgments assured the PAFs, based on Art 21, that they would be better-off at the rehabilitation sites. The R&R of the PAFs ought to have been done as and when the dam height was raised. However, the State has failed to comply with this obligation. The oustees have not been provided land for land.
The benefit of 60 Lakhs and 15 Lakhs has still not been provided to all the PAFs who lost their land to enable them to purchase agricultural land for their livelihood. Many PAFs still await allotments of plots. It is only recently that state government has announced many packages. Many issues concerning R&R are still pending before the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA).
Looking at the plight of thousands of such PAFs, Medha Patkar and 11 others have gone on an indeifnite fast from July 27th. Today is the 9th day of the fast and their health condition is critical. Their only demand is that the rights of resettlement and rehabilitation, which have been given to the PAFs under the Award, and the judgments of the Honourable Supreme Court should be provided to them.
You may from your own resources verify the pitiable condition of the R&R sites and we are sure that you will be satisfied that it will be cruel and inhuman to compel thousands of PAFs to leave their villages and shift to the temporary tin shades which have been constructed by the state.
In these compelling circumstances, which involves thousands of men, women and children, we hope that you will intervene and ensure that till the R&R of the Oustees is completed and the rehabilitation sites are developed with all the amenities and facilities, PAFs will not be evicted forcibly.
We request you to send your representative to Chikalda, Badwani, MP, where Medha Patkar and 11 others are undertaking fast, assuring her of complete R&R of the PAFs and that till that is done they will not be forcibly evicted. We are sure that your assurance of completion of R&R will move Medha Patkar and others to end their fast, which they have undertaken for a great human cause.
We would also like to request you to give us a time to meet and brief you of the situation and personally request you the time. Kindly, give us a time, looking at the urgency of the situation.