51 villages will be submerged by Sardar Sarovar Dam

The picturesque village of Kasrawad stands by the banks of river Narmada. However, the village may be soon consumed by the river, which had nourished it for centuries due to the nearby Sardar Sarovar Dam.

While a government survey back in 2001 had claimed that over 360 houses will be affected if the height of the dam is raised; according to another survey in 2008, only 25 houses of the 364 houses will be affected. This gross manipulation of data was discovered by Rahul Yadav, a resident of the village when he lodged an inquiry under the RTI Act.

The residents claim that the data was fudged for ulterior motives because they wanted to raise the height of the damn “The authorities of Sardar Sarovar Project wanted the government to sanction the dam, so they have shown the fudged figures. For real damage, they should also survey the backwaters. 55 villages are going to be submerged because of the backwaters.” says Kailash Yadav, a resident of Kasrawad to our community correspondent, Chetan Salve. Rahul estimates that due to the raised heights, not only will Kasrawad be submerged, but there is a good chance that the neighbourhood village of Bharwani will also be submerged.

However, this gross manipulation of data is not an individual instance. According to research done by Chetan, this fate of fudged data is shared by other 51 villages in Madhya Pradesh.

Call to Action: The villages want an assurance that they will have rehabilitation based on rehabilitation policy, action plan and decisions of the tribunal. Call Shashi Shekhar, the President of Narmada Control Authority, Ministry of Water Resources on +91-1123715919, in New Delhi and demand that the residents of Kasrawad village and the other 50 villages of Madhya Pradesh be rehabilitated as per the Sardar Sarovar Project guidelines.

Community correspondent Chetan Salve reports from Maharashtra for Video Volunteers.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’ they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change. we could hyperlink to some VV pages, like our take action page.

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