PM’s Inauguration Imperiled 40,000 Families: Citizens’ Letter to President on Narmada

New Delhi, September 17, 2017

Shri Ram Nath Kovind
President of India
Rastrapathi Bhavan
New Delhi

Your Excellency President Kovind,

Subject : Letter from Citizens, protesting the Inauguration of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on September 17th, at the cost of violations of the rights of 40,000 project affected families in Narmada Valley

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated today the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam across the Narmada River on his 66th birthday, 17th September 2017. In preparation, the dam gates were closed and water level was allowed to steadily rise in the submergence zone, particularly in Madhya Pradesh state. Water was even diverted to Sardar Sarovar Dam from other unfilled dams to prepare for the so called Narmada Mahotsav on PM Modi’s birthday.

Forty thousand families continue to live in the submergence zone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam as they have not been rehabilitated as per the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award and other relevant Supreme Court judgements. Their livestock, agricultural lands, forests, homes and everything that belongs to them is being drowned in town after town, village after village, across the Narmada Valley. Their rehabilitation remains incomplete despite various assurances of state and union governments and the continuous monitoring of rehabilitation by the Supreme Court of India. In fact, thousands of applications for rehabilitation remain unopened before the Grievance Redressal Authority.

To close the dam gates and fill the reservoir to celebrate ‘Narendra mahotsav’ (festival of Narendra), causing the forcible drowning thousands of families in the process, is one of the greatest human rights violations in the history of free India. Such bizarre and colossal abuse of power is unheard of in any democratically governed country.

As citizens, we simply cannot stand by and watch this unprecedented carnage of drowning the lives of fellow women, men, children and the elderly of our country. We protest this celebration by Prime Minister Modi on his birthday at the cost of fundamental rights and freedoms of people, particularly those who have lost everything for the dam.

Your Excellency President Kovind, we believe it is your duty as the First Citizen of India to step up and join us in stopping this massive and unprecedented abuse of executive power. Therefore, we urge you to immediately take appropriate action to stop flooding in the Narmada Valley villages and immediately ask the authorities to open the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. The dam, which has destroyed thousands of acres of forests, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and ruined the holy River Narmada, could have been inaugurated in a secular manner once rehabilitation is complete.

We urge you to immediately initiate corrective action with due dispatch, as the continuance of lives of tens of thousands in the submergence zone now hinges on your right action.

Yours sincerely,

1. Abdul Mazid, General Secretary, Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Labour Federation (BAFLF)
2. Advocate Mini Mathew
3. Ajay Kumar, RIGHTS, Tamilnadu
4. Akhila Vidyasandra, Bangalore
5. Akshay Ashay-Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, Mahan
6. Alex Tuscano
7. All India Central Council of Trade Unions
8. All India Progressive Womens Association
9. Altaf Ahmed
10. Alternative Law Forum
11. Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat
12. Ashalatha, Sajaya, Lakshmi, Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch, MAKAAM
13. Ashish Kothari, Kalpvriksh
14. Ashwini Tudme, India
15. Aziz Minat
16. Badrul Alam, President,  Bangladesh Krishok Federation
17. Bamini Narayanan
18. BBMP
19. Bilal Khan-Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
20. Bishakha Datta, Mumbai
21. Bittu Karthik, Scientist and Activist
22. Camaal Mustafa Sikander
23. Cesare Ottolini, Global Coordinator, International Alliance of Inhabitants
24. Chayanika Shah
25. Chhaya Datar, Mumbai
26. Chitra Viraraghavan, Writer
27. Cten Lepcha, Sikkim
28. Dasrathi
29. Dinkar Dave, Gujarat
30. Dinkoo Mistry
31. Dr. Chairs Resist, Political scientist.
32. Dr. Sugan Baranth, Chairperson, Akhil Bharatiya Nai Talim Samiti.
33. Dr. Sunilam, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and NAPM.
34. Dr. Suniti Dharwadkar, Microbiologist.
35. Dr.Vishwambhar Choudhari, Environmentalist,
36. Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre
37. Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre
38. Environment Support Group
39. Equations
40. F. H. Bhujwala
41. Florence Fernandes
42. Geeta Doctor
43. Harpal Sangwan
44. Harsh Vardhan Bhati
45. Himanshu Damle, PFPAC, Delhi
46. Indian Social Action Forum
47. Jagdish Khairaliya-Shramik Janta Sangh
48. Jamil Akhtar-Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
49. Javed Iqbal-Journalist
50. Jayashree Khire
51. Jeewendra Jadhav
52. Joe Athialy, Delhi
53. Kalpavriksh
54. Karnataka Domestic Workers Union
55. Kavitha Kuruganti, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture
56. Kiran Vissa, Kondal, Naveen – Rythu Swarajya Vedika
57. Kirpal Singh Mandloi
58. Krishnkant, PSS NAPM, Gujarat
59. Kumar Prashant, Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi
60. Lakhan Musafir, PSS, Gujarat
61. Latha Anantha, River Research Centre
62. Leo Saldanha, ESG Bangalore
63. Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM
64. Manisha Gupte
65. Manohar Chauhan
66. Manoharsingh Shekhawat
67. Meena Karnik
68. Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM
69. Mhon Kikon, Nagaland
70. Michael Mazgaonkar, PSS, Gujarat
71. Mohan Bhome, Aurangabad
72. Molly Kurian
73. Nagmani Rao, Shramik Mukti Dal Lokshahi, (Maharashtra)
74. Namrata Kabra, Bangalore
75. Nayan Barahate, Maharashtra
76. Nina Verma
77. Nithya Balaji, Chennai
78. Nityanand Jayaraman. Vettiver Collective. Chennai
79. Om Prakash Singh
80. Omkar Govardhan
81. Peoples Union of Civil Liberties- Karnataka
82. Pervin Jahangir, Janasahayog Trust,
83. Poonam Kanojiya-Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
84. Pradeep Khellurkar, Sarvoday.
85. Pradeep Khelurkar
86. Prahalad Ingle, Jagdish, Amol, Deepak, Prabhat, Maharashtra
87. Prof. Kodand Ram, Telangana Joint Action Committee
88. Punj Prakash, Delhi
89. Radha Rajgopalan
90. Rahul Adwani
91. Rajani SS
92. Rajesh Kumar-CFA
93. Raju Shetty, MP and Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathan (SSS)
94. Ram Wangkheirakpam, Manipur
95. Ramil, Potato Farmers Association, Agra, UP
96. Ravi Chellam, Wildlife Biologist and Conservation Scientist, Executive Director, Greenpeace India
97. Ravi Kanneganti, Telangana Rythu JAC
98. Ravi Krishna Reddy
99. Ravindra Vora
100. Retd Maj. Gen. Sudhir Vombatkere
101. Revati Kale
102. Rina Kamath
103. Ritu Mukundan
104. Rohit Prajapati, PSS< Gujarat
105. Salim Saboowalla- CPDR, Mumbai
106. Sameer Shipurkar
107. Sanjay Joshi, Sane Guruji Parivar.
108. Sanjeev Sane, Maharashtra
109. Sarampallay Malla Reddy, All India Kisan Sabha
110. Sarang Kar
111. Sathya S
112. Satyarupa Shekar
113. Shabnam Hashmi, ANHAD
114. SHAKUN DOUNDIYAKHED, BENGALURU
115. Shalini Gera, Delhi
116. Shalmali Guttal, Focus on the Global South
117. Sharad Kamble-Dhule
118. Sheetal Deshpande
119. Shekhar Pathak, Historian from Uttarakhand
120. Shilpa Ballal
121. Shishir Rao
122. Shivani Chaudhary, HLRN
123. Shrank Mukti Dal, Democratic.
124. Shrinivas Naga Chandram
125. Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan, Pune
126. Shubhada R. Chavan, Maharashtra
127. Shweta Tripathi-SRUTI
128. Simantini Dhuru
129. Sitaram Shelar-Pani Haq Samiti
130. Smita, India
131. Snehlata Shukla
132. Soha Ben Slama, Coordinator, International Tribunal of Evictions
133. Souparna Lahiri, Delhi
134. Sridhar Raman
135. Subhash Lomate, Aurangabad
136. Sujit Patwardhan, Pune
137. Sumaira Abdulali
138. Suniti Dharwadkar
139. Suniti S.R., NAPM
140. Suprabha Seshan
141. Sushama Sharma
142. Sushmita Verma-Bastar Solidarity Network, Mumbai
143. Swaraj India- Karnataka
144. Swati Desai, PSS, Gujarat
145. Tani Alex, Kerala
146. Tara Murali, Architect
147. Tushar Joag, Delhi
148. Uday Mohite-Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
149. Unmesh Swaraj
150. Varghese Theckanath
151. Vemulapally Venkata Ramaiah, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha
152. Vidya Dinker, INSAF
153. Vijay Diwan, Aurangabad
154. Vijay Tambe
155. Vimal Bhai, Uttarakhand
156. Vispi Jokhi
157. VM Singh, Adit and Prabhat, Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan, Uttar Pradesh
158. Yogendra Yadav, Avik Saha, Avinash Malviya, Vanita, Mujeeb, Vikas Ajay, Barmjeet Yadav, Aryan, Subatro and Anil – Jai Kisan Andolan and Swaraj Abhiyan

  • K SHESHU BABU

    SC guidelines and human rights are being consistently violated by centre and state despite public cry. The president should uphold democratic rights of narmada valley inhabitants

  • Radhasut

    I think India Resists should change it’s approach. Instead of giving problems, give solution. Whether it is good or bad, it has been done, now what?
    If there is no land available close to their habitat, shift them downstream of the dam, where there is lot of unoccupied/ uncultivated/ barren land. With the availability of water, if not agriculture, we can have some industrial project, complete with schools hospital etc. Under PM awas yojana, provide them housing. this will enable them to start a new better life.