31 August, 2019

Friends of the Earth International expresses deep concern at the growing humanitarian crisis in Narmada valley, Central India, where thousands of families face eviction without rehabilitation for the Sardar Sarovar Dam Project. We are also concerned about the deteriorating health of senior activist Medha Patkar, who began an indefinite fast on the 25th August 2019. Today, she is into her seventh day of fasting.

The dam, initially financed by the World Bank, has been at the center of controversy for a number of reasons, including its poor track record of rehabilitation of affected communities. We learn that, flouting all policies and guidelines, nearly 32,000 families are yet to be rehabilitated while the dam construction has been completed and the reservoir is being filled rapidly.

The Narmada struggle has been an inspiration to a number of organizations across the world. Its relentless fight made the World Bank withdraw financing of the project in the early 1990s and compelled the Bank to establish the Inspection Panel – the first accountability mechanism in any multilateral bank. It continues to inspire struggles world-over with its non-violent struggle.

We stand in solidarity with the Narmada struggle. We demand the Government of India and concerned state governments to address the demands of the struggle and avoid a humanitarian crisis. 

Friends of the Earth International

Photo: Narmada Bachao Andolan

Read and sign an Open Letter to the President, Chief Justice and Prime Minister of India, led by the Friends of Narmada.