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Narmada Valley, Stop drowning 200,000 farmers, fisherfolk and indigenous families without rehabilitation, save the river Narmada from destructive development!


The concerned authorities,

Government of India,

Government of Madhya Pradesh,

Narmada Control Authority.

Date: 31-07-2017


The situation today around River Narmada – one of the largest rivers in India is grim on all fronts. Internationally acclaimed environmentalist, social activist and member of the World Commission on Dams - Medha Patkar along with 12 other project affected women is on her 4th day of an indefinite hunger strike against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authoritarian decision to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam and close its gates without ensuring rehabilitation of 200,000 of people who have been living in the areas that will be submerged due to this decision.

The central government along with the State government of Madhya Pradesh (both ruled by the unabashedly majoritarian Bhartiya Janta Party) is busy trying to distort facts and figures instead of ensuring a dignified rehabilitation of the homes and occupations of agrarian and indigenous forest communities whose villages and towns will drown due to this ecologically devastating project. Enjoying an electoral majority, the ruling party has stifled all voices of dissent through brutal police crackdowns on the peaceful, non-violent protest. Parliamentary democracy in India is hitting an all-time low as dialogue and debate about the issue in Council of States of India and Legislative Assembly of the State of Madhya Pradesh was simply not allowed and Opposition leaders were later arrested.

On an environmental front, a heavy rain this monsoon has caused devastating floods even in the State of Gujarat (beneficiary State of the Sardar Sarovar Dam project). Warnings from environmentalists are ignored and common masses of the country are being misled into worshipping the river by invoking its spirituality whereas the dams, inter-linking river projects, sand mining, dumping of industrial waste and urban sewage are killing whatever is left of the river. Waters from the river are diverted to corporate projects (like Coca Cola) while farmers in India are committing suicide due to lack of government support to agriculture.

The 32 years old valiant struggle of Narmada Bachao Andolan has shook the development discourse world-wide and even forced giants like World Bank to withdraw funding from environmentally destructive and human rights violative projects like Sardar Sarovar Dam and institute the Inspection Panel Mechanism.

As the lives of 40,000 families, including the life of one of the most loved people’s leader are at stake. We call upon the Government of India, Prime Minister of India, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Supreme Court of India to stop forcible eviction and unjust submergence, ensure complete rehabilitation as per law and initiate dialogue with oustees and Narmada Bachao Andolan.

In Solidarity with the Narmada Bachao Andolan

Signatories (209)

  • Tim Oxton, 1941 - United Kingdom
  • Subir Dey, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway - India
  • cristina reynals, FEDEVI - Argentina
  • Shelly Browning, - United States
  • Catherine Strickland, North Shore Unitarian Church, North Vancouver, BC Canada - Canada
  • Lyla Mehta , Institute of Development Studies, UK - United Kingdom
  • Dave Rendle, - United Kingdom
  • Elizabeth Santos, Fundación Venezolana por el Derecho a la Vivienda - Venezuela
  • Prashant Anthony, People's Responsible Organisation of United Dharavi(PROUD) - India