India: Immediately order Reduction of Water Level in Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar Dams
Leter by William Gomes Salem-News.com
Indians are fighting for their rights and their lives are in the need of the government's intervention and support.
Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar Dam activists protesting for their lives and their children's futures.
(SALEM) - There are big questions over water levela at the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dams in India's Narmada Valley. Witnesses there say the waters were illegally raised and this flooded homes and valuable agricultural land that people used to make a living and generate valuable food products.
Essentially refugees within their own country, these mostly voiceless people have not been resettled or relocated and their grief is a continuing issue that is worsening by the day.
None of this should be taking place. The Supreme Court issued the order that these 'oustees' have to be rehabilitated 6 months before submergence. At the time of this writing, thousands of families are being submerged in complete violation of both Supreme Court and High Court orders.
In his letter below, our Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes, asks Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Chief Minister for the Government of Madhya Pradesh, to work with the oustees of the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dam in the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh. They are fighting for their rights and their lives are in the need of the government's intervention and support.
Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan,
Government of Madhya Pradesh,
Fax: 91-755-2441781, 2540501,
Subject : India: Immediately order to reduce water level in Omkareshwar dam and Indira Sagar Dam
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 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.
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.
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
Cc: Alok Agarwal, Radheshyam Tirole, Sakubai, Radhabai
Sign the Petition online at change.org - https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/chief-minister-madhya-pradesh-reduction-in-water-levels-of-omkareshwar-and-indira-sagar-dam?utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=14046523
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Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist and author was born on 25 December, 1985 in Dhaka. As an investigative journalist he wrote widely for leading European and Asian media outlets.
He is also active in advocating for free and independent media and journalists’ rights, and is part of the free media movement, Global Independent Media Center – an activist media network for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate telling of the truth. He worked for Italian news agency Asianews.it from year 2009 to 2011, on that time he was accredited as a free lance journalist by the press information department of Bangladesh. During this time he has reported a notable numbers of reports for the news agency which were translated into Chinese and Italian and quoted by notable number of new outlets all over the world.He, ideologically, identifies himself deeply attached with anarchism. His political views are often characterized as “leftist” or “left-wing,” and he has described himself as an individualist anarchist.
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