Inhabitants of Narmada Valley Fighting

Kh. 23.08.2003 17:10 Themen: Weltweit Ökologie

Inhabitants of Narmada Valley Fighting for Proper Rehabilitation

The Sardar Sarovar Dam on the lower Narmada River is just one of 30 projected large dams of India`s Narmada mega-dam project, an area prone to earthquakes. In May 2003, three Indian federal states had given clearance to increase the height of the dam to 100 meters, which caused the submergence of several villages and devastation of standing crops, after monsoon rains started at the end of July. The clearance was given inspite of a legally binding Supreme Court Order and the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal Award, which had stipulated the previous resettlement of all project-affected persons. But at least 13 500 families suffering from the present monsoon floods are still waiting to be resettled. So far they haven’t been granted any compensation for the destruction of their property. The inhabitants of Chimalkhedi village in Maharashtra resisted Police Forces, who attacked and forcefully evicted them, arresting 74 plus 40 temporarily. 20 houses of this hamlet were also demolished.

The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) - Movement "Save the Narmada" - has initiated a Satyagraha campaign and relay fast. It denounced that most project affected people are not recognized officially, i.e. are denied rehabilitation. Meanwhile, the governments have given in to some NBA demands to involve Gram Sabhas (village councils) in the rehabilitation process.

With more monsoon rains in the upper reaches yet to come, a second even more devastating flood is in store. If the government won’t have fulfilled all their demands by then, Satyagraha struggle will be intensified.

NBA press releases / updates July/Aug. 2003:

Recent report of new submergence; Lies, dam lies ... - English

  • 10/8 - Solidarity Team to Narmada Valley harassed by Gujarat Police - English / German
  • 8/8 - Relay fast enters 4th day - English / German
  • 5/8 - Adivasis on fast - First phase of Satyagraha begins - English / German
  • 3/8 - Dam-affected Adivasis storm Collector’s Office - English / German
  • 1/8 - Dam-affected Adivasis get jail instead of rehabilitation - English / German
  • 29/7 - Emergency in the Narmada Valley - English/German
  • 29/7 - Adivasis Arrested Forcefully in Chimalkhedi - English / German
  • 27/7 - Earthquake in Narmada Dam Region - English / German
  • 26/7 - Increasing Narmada Dam Waters submerges Maharashtra villages - English / German
  • 21/7 - Visit by eminent persons exposes reality - English

Previous reports:


Friends of River Narmada / NBA press releases / International Rivers Network / People’s Global Action

photos / maps: Narmada mega-dam project / Sardar Sarovar Dam

Films & videos / "Drowned Out" - film by activist Franny Armstrong about the struggle of Jalsindhi villagers

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nba 24.08.2003 - 21:54

B-13, Shivam Flats, Ellora Park,Baroda-390007
(Ph. 0265,2282232;
Date: 24.8.2003(5.00 pm)

Dear all,

Due to heavy and intermittent rains in the Narmada Valley the water level
of SSP is rising again at an alarming rate. There were heavy rains right
from Amarkantak to Baruch, ie. through out the Narmada river belt. The
water level at Sardar Sarovar Dam site was 104.34 mts. at 8 am today
(24.8.2003). It rose to 105.40 mts at 12 noon and 106.34 mts. at 4 pm.
That means the water is rising at a rate of 1 metre in four hours! If the
same situation continues, it will lead to massive submergence endangering
the lives of the people in the Valley.

In the last submergence (which occurred just before 3 weeks in the end of
July) the water level at dam site rose till 108.40 mts and devastated many
villages. Many adivasis lost their houses and crops. The Maharashtra Police
also demolished 22 houses in Chimalkhedi. People in the Valley are
determined to fight against this unjust submergence. Satyagraha is going on
in Chimalkhedi and Nimgavan of Nandurbar. Supporters from many places like
Karnataka, Orissa, Maharashtra and other places are already there with the
people in the Valley giving moral strength to the adivasis.


Jojo Ashish Himanshu Philip Sukumar