People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
March 26, 2006
AIDWA Opposes Heightening Of The Narmada Dam
The following is the text of the statement issued by AIDWA president Subhashini Ali and vice president Brinda Karat on March 22, 2005
THE All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) expresses its grave concern at the impending submersion of several villages in the Neemar area of Madhya Pradesh which will render 35,000 families both homeless and totally unemployed. This is a very fertile area where cotton is grown along with several varieties of cereals. The villages that will be submerged by the proposed increase in the height of the Narmada Dam are fairly prosperous ones with large numbers of pukka houses, small workshops, shops etc.
Large numbers of the affected persons, including many women, along with Medha Patkar and other leaders of the Narmada Bachao Andolan are sitting on a dharna in Delhi demanding that the central government stop work on increasing the dam height immediately. It is important to remember that the Supreme Court had ordered that no further heightening of the dam be undertaken until those already displaced are provided with land and their rehabilitation has been satisfactorily undertaken. A recent survey that was undertaken on rehabilitation in Maharashtra has revealed the oustees have neither received land nor have satisfactory steps been taken to provide them with any kind of housing facilities. In these circumstances where thousands of those ousted are living in sub-human conditions in extreme penury it is shocking that the height of the dam is being further increased – flouting Supreme Court decisions and various assurances given at various times by chief ministers and the prime minister himself.
AIDWA demands that the work on heightening of the dam be stopped immediately and that all the oustees be given lands in return for what they lost and proper compensation.