Friday, March 10, 2006

Rising=Submerging

The height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river keeps rising,
Narmada authority clears increase in dam height (from the present 110.64 metres to 121.92 metres)
Mr. Modi said the NCA had cleared the further construction at its meeting in Delhi on Wednesday night and as soon as it was communicated to the State government, construction work was resumed on the dam immediately.

... how we hope that all government tasks started happening immediately!

A NBA press release posted on Friends of River Narmada, before the NCA clearance, points out several reasons why this should not have happened.
The Prime Minister had directed on November 22, 2004 that the Minister of Water Resources must visit the Narmada Valley and check on the claims of rehabilitation before the height is raised any further. This visit, while must awaited by us, has still not taken place. The state leaders have cheated and bluffed the Water Resources Minister by giving him incorrect briefing about the completion of rehabilitation works in the valley. Hence, we really urge the Minister, Shri Soz, to visit the region and see the situation for himself.
In addition, it is startling to note that the R&R Sub-Group, which is charged with the monitoring of rehabilitation measures, has not visited the submergence area since November 2000! Hence, clearances have been given to raise the dam height merely by paperwork, most of it FALSE, done sitting in Bhopal, Mumbai, Gandhinagar and Delhi, without any checking being done on the ground. It is no wonder then that grave injustice is being done to the people of the valley.

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