Citizens’ appeal to Narmada Control Authority (NCA): Rehabilitate and protect oustees

Urging that the reservoir levels of the Sardar Sarivar be maintained at 122 metres, hundreds of concerned citizens have petitioned the NCA and the GOI with pressing demands even as the indefinite fast by Medha Patkar, social activist enters the fifth day

Hundreds of concerned citizens and people’s organizations across India write to Narmada Control Authority (NCA) “seeking complete rehabilitation of all oustees” and have also urged that Sardar Sarovar reservoir level be maintained at 122 mts, until then

In an appeal issued on June 19, 2024, as the Narmada Satyagraha and indefinite fast by social activist Medha Patkar enters its fifth day, hundreds of concerned citizens, activists, academics, environmentalists, film makers, former bureaucrats, feminists, youth activists and people’s organizations from across India wrote to the Narmada Control Authority and other authorities, calling upon them to address the legitimate demands of the movement.

They have appealed for immediate and complete rehabilitation of all affected families and maintaining Sardar Sarovar reservoir level at 122 mts, until such time.

Highlighting the historic role of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) over the past four decades, the petition also pointed out some important current issues; including the pending rehabilitation of a few thousand families, the particularly vulnerable situation of Dalit, Adivasi, fisher folk oustees; the need to rescind the fraudulently revised back water levels, the lack of effective regulation and monitoring of the cascade of reservoirs on Narmada, leading to massive crop, house and livestock losses in 2023, flooding even in downstream areas and need to compensate the same.

Some of the signatories to the petition from across India include: Dr. EAS Sarma, Anand Patwardhan, Prof. Rama Melkote Prafulla Samantara, Ashish Kothari, Prof. Anil Sadgopal, Dr. Rosemary Dzuvichu, Sharad Behar, Kavitha Kuruganti, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Dr. Roop Rekha Verma, Teesta Setalvad, Adv Clifton D’ Rozario, Zahid Parwaz Choudhary, Dr. Sudhir Vombatkere, Madhuri, Neelam Ahluwalia, Adv Shalini Gera, C.R Neelakandan, Hasina Khan, Tushar Gandhi, Nityanand Jayaraman, Adv Indira Unninayar, Richa Singh, Rohit Prajapati, Sukla Sen, Himanshu Thakkar, Mahendra Yadav, Dr. Gabriele Dietrich, Adv Vinay Sreenivasa, Purnima Upadhyay, Mohammad Ishak Van Gujjar, Kailash Meena, Nabinder Singh, Simin Akhter, Usmangani, Dr. Sunilam, Malika Virdi, Madhu Badhuri , Pavan Muntha and many others.

The signatories endorsed the key demands of the movement and called upon authorities to:

  • Ensure complete and immediate rehabilitation for all those affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project, as per law and judicial orders.
  • Compensate all damages inflicted until 2023, with immediate effect.
  • Cancel revised backwater levels;
  • Resettle 15,946 families according to old levels.
  • Fairly resolve all the pending applications before GRAs and appointments to the Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRAs).
  • Maintain the water level of Sardar Sarovar at 122 meters, until all affected are rehabilitated, as per law and directives of the Apex Court.

The signatories have called upon the government not to resort to any form of high-handedness or repression on the movement and uphold the legal, human and constitutional rights of people.

The petition which was addressed to the Chairperson of Narmada Control Authority, was also sent to the Prime Minister of India, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment, Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and Chairperson, Narmada Valley Development Authority, with a request to ensure due compliance with law and people’s demands.



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