Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What is this woman trying to do ?

In brief, the Government's plan is to build 30 large, 135 medium and 3000 small dams to harness the waters of the Narmada and its tributaries. The proponents of the dam claim that this plan would provide large amounts of water and electricity which are desperately required for the purposes of development.

Opponents of the dam question the basic assumptions of the Narmada Valley Development Plan and believe that its planning is unjust and inequitous and the cost-benefit analysis is grossly inflated in favour of building the dams. It is well established that the plans rest on untrue and unfounded assumptions of hydrology and seismicity of the area and the construction is causing large scale abuse of human rights and displacement of many poor and underprivileged communities. They also believe that water and energy can be provided to the people of the Narmada Valley, Gujarat and other regions through alternative technologies and planning processes which can be socially just and economically and environmentally sustainable.

Patkar, who has been on a hunger strike for the last six days, claims raising the height will render thousands homeless.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan is one of the longest non-violent movements in the country.

But the government prefers to negotiate with militant groups such as the ULFA and Naxals instead.

The NCA claims that relief and rehabilitation has been done satisfactorily while the activists' term it's a big lie.

The onus is now on the Centre to find out just what is the truth.

As per the law, the governments were required to ensure that every single affected family was resettled at least 6 months before submergence, offering cultivable land for land and resettling them in resettlement sites provided with all civic amenities. However, in clear and inhuman violence of this it has not resettled atleast 35,000 families.

Rehabilitation has been reduced to a paper exercise in the process. This decision, made possible by the political nexus between Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments, will not only murder the lives and futures of affected people but will also submerge a culture, a heritage, a civilization that is centuries old.

The cruelty with which the natural resources including land, water, minerals, of adivasis and farmers are being snatched away by governments, using brutal force in most instances, in violation of Constitutionally guaranteed rights needs to be stopped immediately.

In the last 20 years, NBA has seen a great game unfolding in the Narmada Valley, which involves a mockery of figures. With this project of 50,000 crore rupees, the generations-old villages are being taken away from us by using water as a weapon.

This development that is based on capital investments from large Multi National Corporations, is leading to the massacre of our workers. Even the public sector is going in the same perverted direction. The principles of the capital market and political contractors are pushing this process forward. Sardar Sarovar Project best epitomizes this.

Governments hope that the resilient sathyagrahis of the Narmada valley, the adivasis and farmers, will be destroyed by their submergence.

This struggle is not just for the Narmada. It is for every valley,
every village, every community under threat. And is the voice against
the snatching away of sustenance and livelihood.

- NBA's pledge is that, while stopping the Sardar Sarovar project,
any form of forced displacement without consent and participation is
- It is pained and ashamed by the use of force and arms to displace
- It wants that the planning of development projects must be in the
public interest and within the democratic framework and through
scientific processes
- It believes that where a dispute has been raised by people, it
should be resolved through dialogue and consent, and not through
monetary inducements and threats of violence
- The development planning must start in the gram sabha at the
level, and the basti sabhas at the city level
- The Government of India should change the colonial Land Acquisition
Acts and changes in the National Resettlement Policy must be
- NBA has appealed to the peoples movements from every corner of this
Country, raising such questions to come here, join this struggle and
seek answers to the fundamental questions we all pose together.

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