On Narmada Issue

PRESS RELEASE - AIDWA Demands Immediate Release of the Ministerial Report on Rehabilitation Measures in Narmada Valley
13 April, 2006  
Phone: 23710476, 233119566
The AIDWA demands that the Report of the Ministerial team, led by the Union Water Resources Minister Shri Saifuddin Soz to the Narmada Valley on April 7th to assess the rehabilitation measures for families displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project, should be released immediately. The decision to review the order of the Narmada Control Authority on heightening the dam has to carry forward the Supreme Court directive for full resettlement and rehabilitation of the dam oustees in all respects. This should include land for land compensation and provision of other basic facilities to help the displaced families to reestablish themselves. Considering the large number of villages that would get submerged, and the thousands of families who would be left homeless and destitute, it is extremely irresponsible to proceed with heightening the dam without ensuring that the villagers are properly resettled. The flouting of the Supreme Court orders in this regard amounts to an illegality, and cannot be condoned.
AIDWA extends its support to the struggle that has been launched by the affected persons, and expresses solidarity with Medha Patkar's hunger fast, and the dharna by the Narmada Bachao Andolan at the Jantar Mantar for the past 15 days. We reiterate that immediate priority should be given to the relief and rehabilitation measures that are to be undertaken, and until that is done satisfactorily, construction on the dam should be stopped.
Subhashini Ali
Sudha Sundararaman
(General Secretary)
PRESS RELEASE - On Impending Submersion Of Villages By Sardar Sarovar Project
22 March, 2005  
The All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) expresses its grave concern at the impending submersion of several villages in the Neemar area of Madhya Pradesh which will render 35,000 families both homeless and totally unemployed. This is a very fertile area where cotton is grown along with several varieties of cereals. The villages that will be submerged by the proposed increase in the height of the Narmada Dam are fairly prosperous ones with large numbers of pukka houses, small workshops, shops etc Large numbers of the affected persons, including many women, along with Medha Patkar and other leaders of the Narmada Bachao Andolan are sitting on a dharna in Delhi demanding that the Central Government stop work on increasing the dam height immediately. It is important to remember that the Supreme Court had ordered that no further heightening of the dam be undertaken until those already displaced are provided with land and their rehabilitation has been satisfactorily undertaken. A recent survey that was undertaken on rehabilitation in Maharashtra has revealed the oustees have neither received land nor have satisfactory steps been taken to provide them with any kind of housing facilities. In these circumstances where thousands of those ousted are living in sub-human conditions in extreme penury it is shocking that the height of the dam is being further increased - flouting Supreme Court decisions and various assurances given at various times by Chief Ministers and the Prime Minister himself.
AIDWA demands that the work on heightening of the dam be stopped immediately and that all the oustees be given lands in return for what they lost and proper compensation.
Subhashini Ali
Brinda Karat, MP