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International | Environment & Forest Defense

India: Immediately order to reduce water level in Omkareshwar dam and Indira Sagar Dam
by William Gomes ( william [at] williamgomes.org )
Saturday Sep 1st, 2012 1:18 AM
I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights ambassador for salem-news.com.



I came to know about the situations from a petition signed by Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Sakubai, Radhabai which appeared in http://www.change.org.
To,



Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan,

Chief Minister,

Government of Madhya Pradesh,

Vallabh Bhawan,

Bhopal

Fax: 91-755-2441781, 2540501,

E-mail: cm [at] mp.nic.in



Subject : India: Immediately order to reduce water level in Omkareshwar dam and Indira Sagar Dam

Dear Sir,



I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human rights ambassador for salem-news.com.



I came to know about the situations from a petition signed by Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Sakubai, Radhabai which appeared in http://www.change.org.





I am expressing my solidarity and I am writing to you for your prompt action into the matter.



I have been informed that the water level in Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dams in the Narmada Valley have been illegally raised causing submergence of numerous lands and houses of oustees of these dams. Oustees of these dams have not been rehabilitated and resettled as per rehabilitation policy by giving them agricultural land and other rehabilitation entitlements. Although the Supreme Court has clearly ordered that these oustees have to be rehabilitated 6 months before submergence, thousands of families who are yet to be rehabilitated are now being submerged in complete violation of Supreme Court and High Court orders.



I want to remind you that the oustees of the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam in the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh, who are fighting for their rights and their life are in the need of your urgent support. The Government and the company NHDC Limited which has built these dams are illegally and in violation of the Orders of the High Court and Supreme Court raising the water level in these dams, causing submergence of lands and houses of thousands of oustees without rehabilitation. 51 oustees of Omkareshwar dam along with senior activist of Narmada Bachao Andolan Chittaroopa Palit and Indira Sagar dam have been on “Jal-Satyagraha” and are standing in the Omkareshwar dam water for last 7 days. Many of these jal satyagrahies have developed blisters in their feet. In the Indira Sagar dam area also today Jal Satyagraha has started at 3 places in the rising water of the dam.



OMKARESHWAR DAM

According to the information revived from the singed petion by Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Sakubai, Radhabai on May 2011, the Apex Court ruled that the authorities are obliged to allot a land for land and a minimum of 2 ha. of land, well in advance of the completion of dam construction. However, although an entire year has passed since the judgment, the State has failed to allot land to the over 2500 land-holder families. It may noted that recently even the Grievance Redressal Authority has said in its orders that the rehabilitation policy has not been followed and all the oustees of Omkareshwar dam should be given land in lieu of land. Over 1000 families remain to be allotted even house-plots. Various other entitlements remain to be provided.



Yet, the State Government and the project authorities have announced that they intend to raise the water level of the Omkareshwar dam to 193 meters from the earlier level of 189 meters and on 25th August, 2012 when the authorities raised the level of the reservoir by 1.5 meters, the oustees started Jal Satyagraha and since then they are standing in the water of Omkareshwar dam.



INDIRA SAGAR DAM



Similarly, in the Indira Sagar dam area also thousands of oustees are yet to be given land and other rehabilitation entitlements. There are orders of Supreme Court and High Court that the water level in Indira Sagar dam cannot be raised beyond level of 260 meters. In spite of this, the government has started raising the water level beyond 260 meters. In protest, Jal Satyagraha has started today at three places in the Indira Sagar dam submergence areas in villages Khardana, Badgaon Mal and Badkhaliya of Districts Harda and Khandwa.





I have been also informed that that many oustees have been standing in Omkareshwar dam water and also in Indira Sagar dam, demanding reduction in water level and rehabilitation before submergence. It is extremely disturbing that the oustees have to embark on Jal Satygraha to get their due rehabilitation rights.

I, therefore request you to immediately order reduction in water level in Omkareshwar dam to 189 meters and in Indira Sagar Dam to 260 meters and rehabilitate all the oustees by giving agricultural land and other rehabilitation entitlements.



Your sincerely

William Nicholas Gomes

Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com

http://www.williamgomes.org



Cc: Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Sakubai, Radhabai