Statement of AAP National Convenor, Arvind Kejriwal on the Sardar Sarovar Dam issue:
The Narmada Valley is facing a devastating prospect. After the gates of the dam have been closed, the water level has been constantly rising. Our party’s MP Bhagwant Mann toured the region that will be submerged and the rehabilitation area, and he found that over 1 lakh people are living in the villages that are in the area affected by the dam gates closing, but no arrangements have been made for them in the space identified for their rehabilitation. Police and bulldozers have been despatched in large numbers to the area.
Demanding that the rehabilitation of all residents living in the affected region be completed before the waters submerge their villages, Medha Patkar has been on a fast and her health is deteriorated. Despite her fast entering the ninth day, no attempts have been made by the government to reach out to her.
Legally the rehabilitation must take place six months before the submergence of villages, and this has been clearly stated by the Supreme Court as well. It is completely illegal, inhuman and undemocratic to use police force to evict the residents of the Valley under such circumstances.
I strongly support the fight for the rights of those being displaced in the Narmada Valley and appeal to the Centre to protect their rights and our democracy, by stopping the Narmada waters from submerging the villages of the affected region. The Centre should engage in a constructive dialogue with the displaced and ensure complete rehabilitation before closing the gates of the dam.