Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

Sardar Sarovar Dam — Resettle Oustees First

The recent decision to increase the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to 100 meters has been taken without any consideration for the large number of people being displaced in the Narmada valley. Thousands of families who were affected by the project earlier have not yet been re-settled with provision of land. Neither in Madhya Pradesh, where the largest number of affected families reside, nor, in Maharashtra have effective steps been taken for rehabilitation. The Madhya Pradesh government had declared that it does not have land to resettle all the project-affected families.

In such a situation, the decision to increase the height of the dam by another five meters will mean the ouster of more people without any rehabilitation. It is incumbent upon the Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra state governments to protect the basic rights of the tribal people and the peasants whose very way of life and livelihood are affected.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demands that the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam should not be raised further till full and adequate steps are taken for the resettlement of all the project-affected people by the state governments and the concerned authorities.