Delhi Demo Bulletin 33By: CACIM on: Thu 18 of May, 2006 15:41 IST (2703 Reads)
The Fury Continues to Build
*Supreme Court Damns People, Devastates Narmada Valley - Denies Justice, Violates its own Orders, Serves Petty Politics (NBA, May 8) * SC declines to stay Narmada dam construction (Times of India, May 8) * Further Government falsehoods regarding SSP to mislead court (NBA, May 7) * TISS toppers confront PM on Narmada * Doosra Aamir stuns PM, cops - Ex TISS student Simprit Singh sneaks into convocation, raises protest against the dam (DNA, Mumbai & Mumbai Mirror, May 7) * Graduating TISS Students Declare Support for Bhopal Victims and Narmada Dam Oustees (May 6) * Sardar Sarovar: Stop Inhuman Destruction of Human Communities and Rich Natural Endowment in Narmada Valley. It's Either Now Or Never (Medha Patkar, NBA, May 6) * Fax Dow NOW! End the Murder in Bhopal! (Students for Bhopal, May 7) * Thousands of residents of Transit Camp, in Kalkaji, New Delhi, prepare to oppose demolition of their homes (Convenor Lok Raj Sangathan, May 6)
From Delhi, Tuesday, May 9, 2006
PLEASE SEND ON
- Supreme Court Damns People, Devastates Narmada Valley - Denies Justice, Violates its own Orders, Serves Petty Politics (NBA, May 8)
- SC declines to stay Narmada dam construction (Times of India, May 8)
- Further Government falsehoods regarding SSP to mislead court (NBA, May 7)
- TISS toppers confront PM on Narmada / Doosra Aamir stuns PM, cops - Ex TISS student Simprit Singh sneaks into convocation, raises protest against the dam (DNA, Mumbai & Mumbai Mirror, May 7)
- Graduating TISS Students Declare Support for Bhopal Victims and Narmada Dam Oustees (May 6)
- Sardar Sarovar: Stop Inhuman Destruction of Human Communities and Rich Natural Endowment in Narmada Valley. It's Either Now Or Never (Medha Patkar, NBA, May 6)
- Fax Dow NOW! End the Murder in Bhopal! (Students for Bhopal, May 7)
- Thousands of residents of Transit Camp, in Kalkaji, New Delhi, prepare to oppose demolition of their homes (Convenor Lok Raj Sangathan, May 6)
"There Is A Fury Building Up Across India" (Arundhati Roy, April 29 – see CDDB 29)
The Supreme Court of India has done what everyone expected it would do – but hoped it would not : Yesterday, May 8, it too passed the buck, by referring the Narmada issue back to the Prime Minister and to the yet-one-more-committee he has set up and refusing to stay further raising of the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam – but by doing so, it has clearly not only violated its own earlier judgement but shown its profound contempt for the common people of the country. Because what this means, since The New Committee will report back only in July, is that whatever devastation was to be caused will already have been caused by then; and all the Court will have to do is a post mortem, and at best say a cruel ‘What a pity’. And all this on the weakest of cases : ‘Disputed facts’. As speakers at a protest meeting held in New Delhi today said, just across the road from the Court, this marks a new phase in the struggle. The time has come, they said, to recognise the character of the courts and to chalk out new directions, new strategies. Movements in India, like elsewhere perhaps, have continued to have faith in the judiciary, as the one part of the state where there might be justice. That has been blown to the winds. More than one speaker suggested that there was no need to spell out to the press what the alternatives might be. Speakers at the meeting also said that a massive wave of demolitions of the homes of the labouring poor also started in Mumbai – just this morning. No solid news on that as yet; more in the next issue. And demolitions in Delhi continue. A key meeting for the Bhopal Campaign is coming up on May 11; see item 7. The only good news is that students at the ‘premier’ social sciences institute in India protested Narmada and Bhopal at their convocation. (Items 4 and 5)
Apologies for the size of this Bulletin; we have been off the air for four days.
Jai Sen, for CACIM
Note : The CDDB (CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin) is a digest of material on the struggles that have been going on for twenty and more years, and have recently intensified, in Bhopal, the Narmada valley, and Delhi, for a place to live in security and dignity – and everything that goes with that. The CDDB series started during late March and April 2006, when all three movements were holding protests in Delhi, and with the Bhopal and Narmada movements on ‘dharna’ (sit-down strike) simultaneously at a place called ‘Jantar Mantar’ in the city. See CDDB 1 and 2 for more details on Jantar Mantar and the demos. All back issues of this Bulletin (the CACIM Delhi Demos Bulletin), number 0 onwards, are available @ : http://www.cacim.net/twiki/tiki-view_articles.php?type=article&topic=1
Some sites for more information : Go to www.cacim.net and see ‘Newsclippings’ and ‘Links’.
 SUPREME COURT DAMNS PEOPLE, DEVASTATES NARMADA VALLEY DENIES JUSTICE, VIOLATES ITS OWN ORDERS, SERVES PETTY POLITICS
On 8.5.06 6:57 pm, "firstname.lastname@example.org"
Narmada Bachao Andolan Statement, May 8, 2006
- Supreme Court's cruel statement damns and devastates the Narmada Valley
- Supreme Court violates its own former orders in favour of petty politics
- Delayed justice is denied justice
The Supreme Court of India, after so much delay, has finally knocked down the Sardar Sarovar-affected adivasis and farmers by violating its own judgments earlier. The Dam will damn and devastate 35,000 and more families. This has become a death sentence for this most ancient valley and the civilisation. The UPA Government have proved to be in alliance by favouring Modi's violent ways and means to development, and not Gandhi's 'Antyodaya'. It has indeed exhibited courage to allow a project, with claimed benefits and costs to compensation and rehabilitation to be pushed and waters to be filled on the dead bodies of generations old inhabitants of a river valley.
The Court's verdict is against the rights of the oustees who are protected by Article 21 of the Constitution. The verdict shows an anti-poor perspective. Development will now have not only an inhuman but also a brutal face and force.
The Supreme Court has hidden behind an unbelievable reason – disputed facts – to postpone the decision on the raising of the dam height while ignoring the 'undisputed' facts presented by all the parties including the governments on incomplete rehabilitation. It has also bypassed its own 'unchallenged verdicts'. When it became clear to every committee that visited the Valley before – World Bank's, Union of India's to that of Members of Parliament – that injustice was being imposed, and records and reports were flawed, the Court couldn't and didn't take the responsible task of investigation into the jumbling of not figures, but of families in thousands, nor a timely conclusion.
The Court has failed to correct the gross arbitrariness of the Executive. We have also witnessed an alliance among all the organs of the State, with arrogance against the poor and no difference between the communal-secular violent ways of Gandhi's Gujarat. The UPA government has decided and conveyed to the country that in this globalised, liberalised era, development decisions will be made by the multinationals to the corporate interests with political distortion of the truth, all of which is obviously dominant in Sardar Sarovar and not mass-rooted democracy or the scientific or rational analysis of social, environmental and economic conditions.
The Centre has made a mockery of its role with regard to the development project-affected, especially the adivasis, while rhetorical respect is paid to them in corporate fora. If this is the response by the System, we will have no alternative but to take it by its horns.
The Valley will face the flood but also challenge the barbaric ways of water management that are all out to kill river valleys including by the Interlinking of Rivers.
It's very obvious that the Oversight Group appointed by the PM is a move to count the bones and ribs of the people in lakhs when the breathlessness is what was to be treated. The Group is beginning with a contradictory terms of reference and has not consulted us till date.
The Court has forgotten its own commitments to the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, both its letter and spirit, and also the Constitutional right to life. By not giving a decision on cash or land, the Court has failed to stop the massive corruption of crores, as reported by the Comptroller and Auditor General, and unjust betrayal of adivasis as exposed in the case of Bhitada adivasis.
The Court has come to us as a shock. The injustice meted to the people of Narmada cannot be forgotten, who have been fighting for two decades. The decision will result in allowing the Dam and Destruction to be a 'fait accompli'. We will fight to the finish.
Kailash Awasya | Dipti Bhatnagar | Medha Patkar
 SC DECLINES TO STAY NARMADA DAM CONSTRUCTION
On 8.5.06 9:16 pm, "email@example.com"
‘‘Times of India, May 8, 2006’’ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1521180.cms
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday declined to stay the ongoing construction work of the controversial Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat and asked the prime minister to take a decision on the basis of a review group's forthcoming report.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice S.B. Sinha said that there was a serious dispute about the relief and rehabilitation (R&R) of the oustees in terms of the Narmada Tribunal award and the decisions of this court.
It said there were two broad issues before it: whether relief and rehabilitation of the oustees could be completed simultaneously with raising of the height of the dam from 110.64 metres to 121.92 metres, and the validity and operation of the special relief package.
The bench referred to the submissions of Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam about the constitution of a three-member Oversight Group last month to look into the R&R work and that the work assigned to 40 teams of the National Sample Survey Organisation to conduct the survey.
The bench noted that on both the issues, an appropriate decision could be taken only after the report of the group formed by the prime minister was available.
It said the additional solicitor general had stated that the group would submit its report to the prime minister by the end of June and once the report was available, the prime minister would be in a better position to take a decision in the matter.
The bench said: "We hope and expect the prime minister will be able to take a decision on or before July 3 and the decision taken shall be placed on record along with the requisite materials."
It hoped that all the parties concerned would fully cooperate and not cause any obstruction in the work of survey teams constituted by the group. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on July 7.
Earlier, senior counsel Shanti Bhushan appearing for the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) pleaded for a stay on the construction work as R&R was not done as per the apex court judgements.
The court had earlier asked that R&R work should be completed a year prior to the start of construction to raise the height of the dam and six months prior to the actual submergence.
He refuted the claim of the Madhya Pradesh government that all the oustees had already been rehabilitated.
The Narmada Control Authority had permitted the Gujarat government to raise the height of the under-construction dam on the river Narmada from 110.64 metres to 121.92 metres in March.
The NBA, however, objected to the move, saying those to be affected at the targeted height were yet to be rehabilitated.
 FURTHER GOVERNMENT FALSEHOODS REGARDING SSP TO MISLEAD COURT
On 7.5.06 4:58 pm, "firstname.lastname@example.org"
- Governments continue to mislead the courts
- False Claims of Rehabilitation and Utilisation of Water at 110 Mts. will be Countered in the Supreme Court on May 8th
- With No Suspension of Dam Work No Amount of Review and Further Review Ensure Compliance
The Narmada case: Rehabilitation, Dam height and related aspects of Sardar Sarovar Project is becoming more and more complicated as the Governments are resorting to falsehood in their latest submissions till May 6th, 2006. On one hand, the Government of Madhya Pradesh continues to play with number of Project Affected Families. Their number of PAFs increased by 10,000 families suddenly to make it 51,447 families affected at full dam height is still not reflected into the number of families below 122 meters. It is the latter that they have reduced rather than increased from 28,000 + to 23,000 + families. The numbers should have gone up to include all major sons as on the date of land acquisition which is on even now.
All the affidavits and submissions of GoMP also don‚t give the correct figure of families eligible for land. All throughout, till 1995 the number of M.P. families eligible for land, to be resettled in Gujarat or M.P., was around 14,900 yet there is a sudden jumbling and the total number of families to be resettled in Gujarat and M.P. with land has now come down to less than 10,000 +. This is shocking because in reality, as the March 2005 Supreme Court judgment has made clear, the NWDT Tribunal needs to be interpreted to accept every major son of farmers losing 25% of land as eligible for land. Their list and number per village below 110, 122 meters is certainly not finalised, nor added, which would have raised the number of land eligible not reduced it! The underestimate is also obvious from a GoMP document which shows the number of land eligible families in one tehsil alone to be 6,355!
Beyond numbers, GoMP has been playing with FIRs against activists and affected villagers, farmers both of whom together form NBA, without their knowledge. A huge bunch of FIRs filed against villagers who are active and articulate, including those affected youths who give full time to the Andolan form a part of GoMP‚s affidavits. Apart from distorting and diverting away from the issues of real conflict, it is to defame the Andolan in the eyes of the State and the Society both. It should be known, however, that most of these FIRs are filed in December 2005 when we were, in hundreds on a mass sit-in at Badwani, in front of the Narmada Authority‚s Office. When a flock of vehicles would go to the villages for luring and threatening them to accept cash and sign ready made forms committing to give cash in lieu of land and falsely stating that offered (which never really was!) land was unacceptable when the villagers including a few active oustees wanted to question them, FIR was filed under
The same practice continues even today. The reports from the valley are that after the Delhi agitation the officials in Badwani and Dhar districts are known to be visiting the affected villages and whenever they are questioned by a group of concerned villagers, charges are filed. All this for the Court, not for justice!
Dipti Bhatnagar | Medha Patkar
 TISS TOPPERS CONFRONT PM ON NARMADA
On 7.5.06 7:35am, "nityanand jayaraman"
Aditya Ghosh, ‘‘DNA, Mumbai, Sunday, May 07, 2006 00:28 IST’’
During the convocation ceremony at the Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday, many toppers marched to the podium in black badges and black ribbons to accept their certificates and awards. They were protesting against the government's role in the Narmada Bachao Andolan and Bhopal gas tragedy.
Sampreet Singh, a former TISS topper, set the tone of the protest. The PM had just dwelt on the creation of an equal social justice system to ensure a meaningful democracy, when Sampreet stood up with a black banner that said "Development or Destruction —The question of Narmada, Mumbai Slums."
Special Branch police officers whisked him away for interrogation. Police Commissioner AN Roy said, "The person detained was released after five hours."
Later, Sampreet and other students spoke to DNA, confirming their aim was to attract the attention of the PM and public to the issue. "TISS authorities told us not to wear black badges and ribbons. But this was our only chance to express our concerns directly to the Prime Minister," claimed Aruna Pandey, a student.
Earlier, the PM in his speech conceded that the government lacked professionally trained manpower in the social sector. "Institutions like TISS can send forth to society motivated and hardworking personnel who could improve the human resource element of government programmes," the Prime Minister said.
‘‘Mumbai Mirror, May 7, 2006’’
Doosra Aamir stuns PM, cops
EX TISS STUDENT SIMPRIT SINGH SNEAKS INTO CONVOCATION, RAISES PROTEST AGAINST THE DAM
Manoj R Nair
A Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) graduate sneaked into the high security convocation hall on Saturday at the TISS campus at Deonar and raised a banner of protest, stunning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, security staff and other dignitaries present, like Ratan Tata.
According to members of the audience, just as Manmohan Singh wound up his address, Simprit Singh, who graduated from TISS last year, stood up all of a sudden and unfurled a banner that read: "Development of destruction? A question from Narmada, Mumbai Slums, Kalinga Nagar, Bhopal, Plachmada, Kashmir."
Clearly this protest was so unexpected that even as the PM's security grew alert nobody uttered a word. Simprit Singh just stood on his seat, banner unfurled while the function continued. "He did not shout slogans or anything. He just stood up alone," said a faculty member of TISS who was present at the function. But when some members of the audience started cheering Simprit, the plainclothes policemen got into action and escorted him out of the convocation hall.
According to his friends, Simprit, 23, is "passionate" about Narmada. For the last two years he has been working with the National Alliance of People's Movement (NAPM), an alliance of organisations like NBA and lives out of the NAPM office at Chembur. "He is sweet and gentle soul but an ardent opponent of the Narmada dam project," said Shashi Mehta of the NBA.
While Simprit himself remained unavailable for comment
even when journalists were clamouring for a quote as he was being escorted outSimprit chose to remain mum.
"He has been training teachers to work in slums and he's been involved in various protest movements," disclosed Sanjay M G, co-cordinator of NAPM. Simprit apparently also endorsed Aamir Khan's recent protest. "We discussed Aamir's protest in detail and we approved because it was him (Aamir) — he's known to be a sensitive, aware person," he added.
Simprit has visited Narmada valley on several occasions and had often stayed in the villages that were flooded as Sardar Sarovar, the main dam had gone up. In Mumbai, he has been involved in protests against demolition of slums, particularly at Mandala village in Trombay.
According to Vijay Joshi, senior inspector of Trombay police station, Simprit was not detained and nor will any case be made against him. Simprit gained entry as a representative of NAPM which had been invited to the function. TISS had sent invitations to all the field work agencies and companies where its students undergo training during their course.
However, TISS director S Parasuraman, was miffed with his former pupil's action. "There is nothing wrong if someone wants to raise the issue (Narmada Dam). But a convocation ceremony is not an appropriate forum for such protest. We are an institution that teach, research and do policy advocacy. Field work agencies should do what they have to do and we want to do what we have to," he said.
Around 180 graduates passed out in the convocation ceremony on Saturday. The prime minister also inaugurated an institute for disaster management at TISS. However, his reaction to Simprit's protest is not known. Parasuraman who was with the PM said, "We did not discuss the incident. As prime minister, he looks at issues in a broader way."
 PRESS RELEASE: Graduating TISS Students Declare Support for Bhopal Victims and Narmada Dam Oustees
On 6.5.06 5:09 pm, "nityanand jayaraman"
MUMBAI, 6th May, 2006 — Students and faculty members of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences today expressed their solidarity with the continuing struggles of people affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the Bhopal gas survivors, when the Prime Mr Manmohan Singh inaugurated the "Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management" at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. During the convocation ceremony for TISS graduates held today, students handed over two separate memorandums to the Prime Minister highlighting the concerns and demands of the survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy and of families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The students wore badges in support of the movements and black bands to protest the indifference shown by the Prime Minister and his Government, especially in taking decisions that affected the interests of private corporations or the elite.
On April 17, the Prime Minister met Bhopal activists in New Delhi and conceded to four out of six demands. However, he said he was powerless to pressure Union Carbide or its new owner Dow Chemical to make them address their pending liabilities in Bhopal. He told the Bhopal delegation that "We have to do business. India has to survive despite these tragedies." While the Bhopalis ended their hunger strike based on the Prime Minister's assurances of clean water, clean up of contamination and the setting up of a national commission to coordinate medical and economic rehabilitation, they also launched an international campaign to hold Dow and Carbide accountable. The memorandum to the Prime Minister demanded that the Government should show more courage and commitment in bringing Union Carbide to justice. "We are ashamed to learn that the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy is powerless to bring a multinational corporation to justice. This bodes ill for the country as it launches into a feverish pace of industrialisation," said Charu Jain, a TISS graduate.
Condemning the anti-poor stance of the UPA Government in dealing with oustees of the controversial Narmada dam project, Aruna Pandey, a student said "Development that uproots people, impoverishes them and destroys their culture is called colonization. The Government's proposal to pay cash compensation to oustees does nothing to address land and livelihood concerns." Signatories to the Memorandum expressed outrage at the lack of efforts for adequate resettlement and rehabilitation of project affected population by the Governments in Narmada valley. The memorandum has called for the suspension of construction of the dam until the Supreme Court hearing on May 8 th 2006 and the setting up of an independent mechanism for monitoring the rehabilitation situation; it also highlights the demand for the formulation of a comprehensive National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act. The memorandum also urges the Government to address the concerns of other poor people being evicted to accommodate industry or in the name of urban beautification.
For further information, please contact: Aruna Pandey (Narmada) 9322922549, Ruchi Sankrit (Bhopal) 9819373795
LH1, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Deonar, Mumbai
 SARDAR SAROVAR: STOP INHUMAN DESTRUCTION OF HUMAN COMMUNITIES AND RICH NATURAL ENDOWMENT IN NARMADA VALLEY. IT'S EITHER NOW OR NEVER
On 6.5.06 12:03 pm, "Pervin Jehangir"
The massacre is in the making with ongoing work at Sardar Sarovar Dam: The vulgar politics and dead democracy triumphs. The Supreme Court, after many postponements, is to complete hearing in the case of Sardar Sarovar victims and give a verdict on May 8th. The Dam construction is not suspended and the governments, the court, the country is witnessing a well planned murder. In the context of the violence erupted in Gujarat again, and State violence around, some may take this as something that 'Democracy' in the country accepts, allows, approves, why even adopts as its means for pushing the agenda of universal politics. Can we?
The present picture in the Sardar Sarovar Project affected area in the Narmada Valley is that there are at least 35,000 families in the 220 villages where waters are to be filled, with the dam height of 121.92 metres, i.e. up to 136 metres backwater level. Houses and farms with best crop and horticulture, various governmental and private/ social amenities such as schools, dispensaries, shops and large markets, dharamshalas, temples, mosques, archaeological sites, lift irrigation projects…all of which will be drowned. This is the case with villages affected at 80 metres such as in Nandurbar district in Maharashtra and Jhabua district of M.P. (also in Badwani and Dhar districts of Nimad, M.P.), 110 metres affected and to be affected and those to be affected at 122 metres, the large villages ……….. No doubt the total area to be submerged at 110 or 122 metres is always worked out/ estimated on the basis of the highest (1:100 years) rainfall but that can happen even this year, i.e., in the coming monsoon. One township, Dharampuri, and another large village, Nisarpur, with about 5,000 PAFs each, are to be affected at 122 metres. The government claims, after changing the submergence marks, that not all families in this town and another large village are affected at 122 metres, but the ground reality is that level surveys have been altered, record is imperfect and the number of families to be affected has been underestimated. Same is the situation in almost all villages in the affected area. The thousands of non-agriculturists, artisans, boatsmen, fishworkers, traders, etc have no compensation or livelihood package proposed while it was to be so, as per the policy. The environmental destruction – of lakhs of trees in the 122 metre affected area, loss of the best of agricultural, horticulture, ages old archeological sites and cultural monuments , Rajghat – ashes and bones of Gandhi and Kasturba, as also the loss of irrigation to lakhs of acres of land and drinking water to the towns in Nimad, due to denial of the right to SS waters to Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh ….. goes uncounted.
The monsoon of 1994, when dam height was only 69 metres, had caused submergence and collapse of hundreds of houses in the hilly adivasi areas and thousands in the Nimad's plain areas. Submergence with 122 metres dam height and as much rainfall as in 1994 would cause devastation in the valley. This would first affect the 100% adivasi villages, from where the people, children to the aged will have come on to the streets, those adivasis who never migrate to cities or other rural communities as labourers, would become labourers, with no possibility of continuing to stay on the banks of the river, where, why farming, even access to water (due to fringe column of silt) with river as the only source, be impossible. Till date, the silt has taken a toll of hundreds, if not thousands of cattle and a few humans, including our colleague Shobha Wagh, NBA activist, who sunk in the silt in 2004. The disturbed crocodiles have eaten away adivasi youths and women too. The dam being raised would thus cause a great human tragedy and will be shameful for the democratic country, our constitutional institutions, including the judiciary. It will also prove to be a serious contempt of court and the Constitution as well as an utter failure of the much trumpeted, costly machinery of the government responsible for rehabilitation in Sardar Sarovar Project.
While the picture presented by the official reports and through the affidavits was that of "rehabilitation completed" and readiness to flood the area, as long as from Delhi to Agra, the reality is that life is hustling and bustling in these areas, which cannot be inhumanly drowned, doomed and destroyed with water as a weapon. The government of Maharashtra is suppressing the Monitoring report of its own agency to claim no balance, allowing its adivasis to be glutted. This has been happening in dam after dam, from Bhakra Nangal to Tehri, Narmada Sagar to Srisailam, but we can avoid this to save lives, livelihoods, peoples' rights and the Constitution.
We have already exposed the government's game of numbers. They have recently added 10000 families to their estimate of Affected Families (the previous numbers till December 2005 were 33014 in M.P. and 41000 in all three states at the full dam height: now replaced by 43021 in M.P. and 51447 in the 3 states – please see the table enclosed). But reducing even the earlier stated number of PAFs below 110 metres and 122 metres, they have shown an increase in PAFs only beyond 122 metres! Their reports vary but the official status report – of 31.12.2005 – showing 24778 PAFs as balance to be rehabilitated at 122 metres is closer to the truth and NBA's estimate. The construction work is on since March 9th at the dam site, and the height of the dam already reached 114+ metres has already confirmed contempt of court permitted and promoted by all the organs and the State, and is going to cause an inhuman atrocity against the adivasis, in not less than 70 communities for whom no land or house plots are located, nor ready. Only further damage can and needs to be stopped. If not now, it will be never! The massacre is in the making.
It's more than proved before the Supreme Court, with official date and documents that Gujarat has not used even 30% of Sardar Sarovar waters available at 110 metres; with canal network (only 1/7th completed) and pipeline work falling behind. The drinking water has reached only 10% of the 1300+ villages and towns claimed, with regularity, while the claim was 110 metres would provide it to 8215 villages and 135 towns in all SSP of drinking water. The irrigation at 110 metres has come out to be 57000 hectares instead of the claimed 2.2 to 5 lakh hectares ; at a huge cost of 20 000 crores and 11000 hectares of land, millions of trees and 20000+ families displaced/affected. On the other hand 2 lakh hectares of irrigation and drinking water to many villages is attained with just 2000+ crores, with small decentralised means – watershed management to rainwater harvesting.
The Water Resources Minister, Mr Saif-Uddin-Soz?, stayed the decision of the Narmada Control Authority within 2 days of its being taken, i.e. on March 10th, later after much struggle, the three Ministers' report concluded that rehabilitation was not completed and the decision should be withdrawn, at the Review Committee of the NCA, 50-50 division amongst the members left the issue of stoppage of dam construction undecided, with a tie, while the inter-state dispute continued.
Instead of respecting the report of the 3 ministers, and intervening (as per the authority granted through the Supreme Court's judgement, 2000), the Prime Minister opted to remain aloof, or rather firm in his view 'No need to stop the Dam. Let both, the Dam and rehabilitation go on, simultaneously'! This is absolutely an illegal position but also inhuman, since the homes and farms, the communities would have gone under water when they would see the light of justice! Can this be acceptable as coming from our responsible governments?
One more Committee : An ‘Oversight Group’ The Prime Minister has now appointed a committee of 3 former bureaucrats under the Chairmanship of Shri Shunglu, former CAG of India, who are to assess the number of affected families of SSP; who are to judge the legality in the process of offering the land and cash in lieu of land as also suggest ways to complete R&R within next 3 months (i.e. by August, the highest flooding month) as per the norms laid by the Narmada Tribunal Award. (in completion of R&R at least 6 months before submergence: for raising height to 122 metres, the deadline was 31.12.2005). The appointment of this 'Oversight Group' (OG) is a move to make the world think there is ACTION, pro-people, on the human issue. In reality, it's a strategic distraction from the real and rational solution as well as the legal binding. The Terms of Reference for the OG are contradictory and the mandate is ridiculously illogical and illegal. The exercise of one month survey (19th May to 19th June), and rehabilitation of thousands of families (at least 35000 are in the submergence area below 122 metres) in few days, (the schedule declared by the Additional Solicitor General in the court) is going to be only a post-mortem of the then dead or hanged communities and families. Moreover, with a public news that the governments of MP and Gujarat have rejected the committee, will this 'new mechanism', seen and used as a substitute for suspension of work at the dam, even be fruitful and reach its goal, howsoever illegitimate?
Where does all this lead us to? With a highly politicised issue of SSP the Narmada dam, after 20 year battle with all facts and principles, if justice seems to be so far away and engulfed into the politics of pressures, what can be expected by the lakhs and lakhs of the poor yet self-reliant farmers, working classes, artisans, adivasis and dalits who are being thrown out of not just their houses but livelihoods, cultural and natural environs?
Can they even beg or bow before the 'democratic centres of power'? Can they accept law or policy to be the consolation for giving away whatever is theirs, as a 'sacrifice' for development? Can they be convinced with promises of 'rehabilitation'? Can they remain 'peaceful' in the face of State violence with unholy alliances? Will the UPA government ever be able to boast itself of a secular force and a force difference from Modi, even in the context of repeated eruption of violence in Gujarat?
The answer is NO! And hence to a question as to whether Narmada and the struggle by those victimised for development has to and will continue against all odds and blows? The answer is YES!
 [Actionalert] Fax Dow NOW! End the Murder in Bhopal!
On 7.5.06 1:31 pm, "Spartacus"
Join our FREE FAX Action by faxing Dow Board Member Harold Shapiro at http://www.studentsforbhopal.org/FaxPetition/fax_action.php.
One person dies in Bhopal each day because of the deadly chemicals Dow/Carbide dumped there and refuses to clean up. On Thursday May 11, former Princeton and University of Michigan President (and nationally renowned bioethicist) Harold Shapiro will attend his 21st annual Dow Shareholders Meeting as a member of Dow’s Board of Directors. Tell him to act as an academic, bioethicist, and human should. Tell him to end the murder in Bhopal.
Sponsored by Students for Bhopal: www.studentsforbhopal.org
: TRANSIT CAMP, DELHI
On 6.5.06 6:47 pm, "Convenor Lok Raj Sangathan"
Thousands of residents of Transit Camp, in Kalkaji, New Delhi, prepare to oppose demolition of their homes
Residents of Transit Camp, a resettlement colony in Kalkaji, South Delhi, have been warned, through notices put up by the DDA on May 5, 2006, that their houses will be demolished as per High Court orders. They have been warned to move out their possessions latest May 8, so that their homes can be demolished from May 9 to 11. There has been no announcement whatsoever, of how and where they will be resettled. This amounts to a cruel attack on the lives and livelihood of the thousands of people living there.
On the evening of May 5, residents of the colony gathered at the colony's Ram Leela maidan to express their resolve to resist these illegal demolitions with their lives if need be. Nearly a thousand women, men and youth participated in this Sabha. The meeting was addressed by Bijju Nayak, leader of the Lok Raj Sangathan, and Sucharita, Delhi Convenor of the LRS and a noted women activist of Delhi, apart from several local activists. They emphasised the need to be organised and to rely on peoples own strength, without falling prey to the devious parliamentary games and vote-bank politics of various political parties. The residents decided to set up a 'Transit Camp Bachao Sangharsh Morcha', a local committee involving large number of residents, which will lead the struggle, taking joint decisions and keeping the initiative firmly in the hands of the residents. They are also planning various mass actions and demonstrations, in the area as well as in other areas of Delhi, to highlight their struggle.
Transit Camp was originally established in 1985, when people from various slum colonies all over Delhi were resettled there, following the clearing up of their slums by the MCD. Proper papers indicating settlement were allotted to some 1720 families at that time. Originally they were settled there with the view that the government would resettle them soon in an appropriate place. Twenty years have passed and none of this has happened. Over the years, the residents there have been investing their life's savings in developing the area and a new generation of youth and young people has come up, which knows no other home that this one. Naturally, there is both panic as well as anger among the residents of Transit Camp, at the prospect of having their hopes and dreams devastated in this manner. They have begun to organise to resist the demolition of their homes and their forced eviction.
The High Court decision is based on the idea that in the 1960 master plan of Delhi, the area in which Transit Camp falls lies within green belt. However, it is not the DDA or the Delhi government which is being penalised, but the people. Tis is manifestly unjust. The government must either change the master plan to incorporate Transit Camp as a Residential Area or provide alternate accomodation as well as compensation for the destruction of their homes and earnings of over 20 years.
It is of utmost importance that the struggle of the residents of Transit Camp be fully supported by all justice loving people in Delhi and be given wide publicity and media coverage. We appeal to all mass organisations, human rights organisations, women's organisations, residents' associations and courageous individuals to come forward and assist in the struggle of the residents of Transit Camp. This will be an important contribution to the struggle of residents of Delhi, against the drive to demolish our dwellings, shut down our businesses and throw us out of our residential places, in the name of 'Delhi Master Plan 2021', i.e. in the interests of the biggest monopolies an multinationals.
Lok Raj Sangathan is an organisation that is committed to redefine and reconstitute the system of democracy and its political process so as to empower the people. You can contact us at: