People Affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam Demands Urgent Needs,
By Sun Narin
Thousands of people in the affected villages of Alirajpur of Madhya Pradesh States by the Sardar Sarovar Dam project (SSP) have been facing food insecurity and chronic hunger. They are demanding the government to take immediate actions to provide immediate assistance to the villagers, according Supreme Court’s State Advisor to the Right to Food Commissioners’ Office.
Mr Sachin Kumar Jain, Supreme Court’s State Advisor to the Right to Food Commissioners’ Office said that: “People are now in hunger. Children are living in malnutrition. There are no livelihood opportunities and livestock left for them because of the submergence.” He has also appealed to the State and Central government to add on the immediate support to each family for the basic need and provide the proper support for those marginalized people.
“Around 850 families are worst affected. People have moved because of bad rehabilitation and human rights violation over there. We also expect that their (administration’s) accountability will also be fixed and we request the Government of Madhya Pradesh to immediately make arrangements for public transport system in submergence affected villages,” he says.
Social development advocacy organization VIKAS SAMVAD in cooperation with the Commissioners has just released the latest report titled the Valley of Food Insecurity and Chronic hunger of the people suffered from the SSP and has submitted to the Commissioner’s of the Supreme Court.
The report has covered the complaint of the villagers in those affect areas. Mr Khanjan Singh who lives in the village claimed that: “It has been 15 years since our land went under the water. We did not get any compensation for the animals, land, and trees that we lost.”
Mr Dhaniya Patel, an elderly man from the villages said in the report that, “The government thinks that we are enjoying ourselves here. It is for you to see whether we are enjoying ourselves or starving. The supply through the PDS has been irregular in the village since submergence.”
Most of the benefits from the government-sponsored welfare schemes are denied to the women. So far there were only two institutional deliveries in the village. There are no transport linkages to the villages, which in the case of emergency, creates disastrous situations, the reports says.
Mr Sachin Kumar Jain said the now the court has directed the government to provide the immediate assistance to the people and has issued about 80 interim orders directing the government the proper implementation of the government schemes like the ICDS, MDM, PDS, and MREGA.
SSP is one of the five largest and controversial dam construction projects in India. According to the government figures 193 villages of Madhya Pradesh will be submerged when SSP is at its full height of 138.68 metres. Out of the 193 displaced villages, 15 villages are from the Alirajpur District.