Press note 31/12/2015
JUSTICE JHA COMMISSION REPORT WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE
MADHYA PRADESH HIGH COURT AT JABALPUR VERY SOON
HOW MANY LAND REGISTRIES OF THE SARDAR SAROVAR AFFECTED FAMILIES WERE FAKE?
HOW MANY FARMERS RECEIVED LAND?
HOW MANY LANDLESS FAMILIES RECEIVED LIVELIHOODS?
CORRUPTION OF HOW MANY CRORE RUPEES?
After seven long years of rigorous investigation, the Justice Shravan Shankar Jha Commission set up by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, is ready to submit its detailed report to that Court. The Jha Commission was tasked to investigate the issue of fake land registries and four other types of corruption that occurred in the rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar Project affected families, which task has now been completed.
This report will reveal just how many fake land registries were carried out by giving the Special Rehabilitation Package, instead of giving land as is the right of the dam-affected farmers whose lands are being taken away by the dam. The question of who is to blame for this huge deception is also to be answered. The number of fake registries will also reveal how many farmers actually got land and how many did not get land because of the fraudulent registries. The Madhya Pradesh government has acceptedonly 686 fake registries and declared the rest to be 'correct', but the Jha Commission findings is likely to triple or quadruple this number.
Jha Commission also constituted a technical team to investigate 88 rehabilitation sites which provided a scathing report. It is also expected that the Jha Commission reportwould expose the crores of rupees of corruption and irregularities that took place in the construction workand quality of the construction of civic amenities at these rehabilitation sites. The report should reveal irregularities, if any, in the rehabilitation of project-affected families, including the allotment of house-plots and many basic amenities that were to be provided. It will also present the truth and the facts regarding the conversion of house-plots, fraudulently turning ineligible people eligible while rendering eligible people ineligible. Is it true, as the Madhya Pradesh government claims, that rehabilitation was completed in 2008, or will the report bring out the actual number of families that remain to be rehabilitated in 2016?
The Jha Commission was set up in 2008, by an order of the High Court. Every time the M.P. government starved the Commission of necessary funds or other needed resources, Narmada Bachao Andolan had to plead before the court for the Commission to get these resources. This went on until October 2015 in the last stages too when M.P. government cut the Commission's funds. This shows a complete lack of political will from the M.P. government.
The thorough investigation went on for 7 years. Thousands of oustees, land sellers, witnesses, government officials and employees of the registry department and of Narmada Valley Development Authority were involved. Narmada Bachao Andolan participated and supported the legal process fully and constantly. After receiving this report, we hope that the Jabalpur High Court will pass its order including directives for next steps.
Narmada Bachao Andolan has claimed for years that thousands of oustees have faced serious corruption in the rehabilitation process, thereby depriving them of their rights and rehabilitation benefits. Many perpetrators' names were also presented to the Commission. One estimate says, out of the 2300 Crore Rupees allotted to Madhya Pradesh state for the rehabilitation purposes, at least 1000 to 1500 Crore Rupees have been defrauded out of the state's coffers, and wasted due to complete misuse or misappropriation. The Commission is mandated to also show whose fault this is. The question remains, after this report, will the M.P. government, Narmada Valley development Authority and Narmada Control Authority fulfil their responsibilities towards rehabilitation of oustees or not?
Rahul Yadav Ranvirsingh Tomar Devendra Tomar Bhagirath Dhangar
Contact number: 9179617513
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