Meri News, May 5 2017, Bhopal: More than two thousand representatives from the Narmada valley, led by Narmada Bachao Andolan have arrived in Bhopal in complete defiance to tell the state government that without Supreme Court orders, Narmada Control Authority (NCA) cannot take the illegal decision to close the gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam during their 9 May meeting.
They cautioned that this is not only in contempt of law and constitution, but of the rights of adivasis, farmers and labour. They ridiculed Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan’s Narmada Seva Yatra (NSY) as only a gimmick of the state government with the Narmada valley. After Supreme Court orders, they alleged that administration-middlemen nexus is engaged in loot.

Stating that the Chief Minister has not entered into a dialogue for last 15 years, NBA warned that if the state and administration thinks that they can illegally take the decision to close the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to a full height of 139 meters and submerge the valley on their 9 May meeting of the NCA, the people of the valley have arrived in Bhopal to challenge and warn them.

According to NBA, in the latest Supreme Court judgment, no relief has been granted to landless people and farmers who have already taken only Rs. 5.5 lakh compensation in the past. Even when, 60 per cent of the population of one town and 192 villages of the Narmada submergence area consists of landless people. Assurances for their alternate livelihood were given to Supreme Court in 1993 by MP government and NCA. So far, a mere Rs. 33,000 or 49,000 has been given to them and this process is also full of corruption.

Fishermen folk have inalienable rights to the waters of a river, so do potters over the soil in the banks, lakhs of labourers are dependent on these natural resources for their daily living and occupation. The most serious issue is that forcefully drowning thousands of homes, temples, mosques, dharmshalasand trees by 31 July cannot be justice.

NBA said that to implement these orders without fulfilling the prior terms and conditions that were to be followed cannot be acceptable. It asserted that the people of Sardar Sarovar Dam region and the Narmada valley are against this inhuman, distorted idea of development and demand their right to life and livelihood. The rights of the landless must be recognized. The nexus of corruption will be defeated.