Over 900 people living on the banks of Narmada in Madhya Pradesh are seeking justice for being driven from their ancestral lands for the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) project. The residents of Belkheda village in Badwani district, Madhya Pradesh had their land submerged in 2000 with promises of rehabilitation, land ownership and monetary support by the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA). But sixteen years hence, the situation has gone from bad to worse from them as both the NVDA and the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) continue to neglect their pleas for justice and rightful ownership.
Only a handful families have received rehabilitation, and many amongst them too, are crying foul over several reasons. There have been many cases where oustees have been given privately owned land, tribal land or in the worse cases, fake lands that don’t exist on paper.
Medha Patkar, the founder member of Narmada Bachao Andolan reveals more on the issue,” A Single piece of land is given to eight people. In other cases, lnds that don’t exist have been given to owners by creating false signatures and photographs. These corruptions should be made public and the implicated but be punished.”
More than 40,000 families in Madhya Pradesh face the watery grave but the state as well as SDA authorities choose to ignore their own commissions, tribunals and other authorities reports or ground realities, as they exist today. Urge the Rehabilitation Officer of Badwani district, V.S. Guha to comply with the promises of rehabilitation on +91-9425460521.
Community correspondent Pawan Solanki reports from Madhya Pradesh for Video Volunteers.
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