August 7, 2017
We are concerned about the ongoing crisis in the Narmada Valley. Press reports state1 that people are being forcibly evicted, and that thousands of villages may face submergence without rehabilitation. This is in contravention of the Supreme Court of India’s orders dated March 15, 20052 and October 18, 20003 and will cause destruction and homelessness on a very large scale. People from the Narmada Valley have been sitting in Satyagraha, on a relay fast and now on an indefinite fast4.
We urge the government to guarantee to the people that the gates of the Sardar Sarovar dam will remain open, that the reservoir will not be filled, and that no one will be evicted from their homes and farms until all the affected people have been allocated land for rehabilitation. This will uphold people’s right to life and livelihood in accordance with the Constitution, the Narmada Tribunal Award5, and the orders of the Supreme Court.
(1) Press reports such as Santoshi , Neeraj. “Mission Eviction on War Footing along Narmada River.” Hindustan Times, 27 July 2017, www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mission- eviction-
on-war- footing-along- narmada-river/story- LwhPeXokeGSj3ZD4bYrzaK.html.
(2) Supreme Court of India. NARMADA BACHAO ANDOLAN vs. UNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS. 18 Oct. 2000, www.narmadaandolan.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SC-18.10.2000-2000-10-SCC-664.pdf.
(3) Supreme Court of India. Writ Petition (Civil) 328 of 2002. 15 Mar. 2005, www.narmadaandolan.org/wp-content/uploads/2005/03/SC-15.03.2005-2005-4-SCC-32.pdf.
(4) “Sardar Sarovar Dam: Medha Patkar to Go on Indefinite Fast on Banks of River Narmada from 27 July.” 25 July 2017, www.firstpost.com/india/sardar-sarovar-dam-medha-patkar-to-go-on-indefinite-fast-on-banks-of-river-narmada-from-27-july-3855543.html.
(5) “Final Order and Decision of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal.” india-wris.nrsc.gov.in/wrpinfo/images/c/c0/Volume2_2.pdf.