The 8 March 2006 decision of the Narmada Control Authority to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam from 110.64 metres to 121.92 metres is a cause of great concern.
Not only does it violate the Indian Supreme Court’s 2000 judgment, India`s constitutional obligations and commitments under international human rights law, it also amounts to a violation of the human rights of the over 35,000 families who will face submergence, dopossession and displacement as a consequence of this height increase.
In a desperate measure in their fight for justice, three activists of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save the Narmada Movement): Medha Patkar, Jamsing Nargave and Bhagwatibai Patidar began an indefinite fast on 29 March, calling for the immediate halt of construction of the dam. The police responded by attacking the nonviolent activists and their supporters. They forcibly arrested and hospitalised Medha Patkar and Jamsing Nargave on the eighth day of their fast.
State repression, however, has not been able to break the spirit of the people. The indefinite fast is still on, with all three activists on the 13th day of their fast. They have been joined by six others who are on the fifth day of their indefinite fast. Despite an international and national outcry against the decision to raise the dam height, the government is still deliberating the issue.
It is not just the health of the NBA activists and others on indefinite fast that is at stake, but the lives and livelihoods of the thousands in the Narmada Valley.
We urge you to actively intervene by sending a letter to the responsible authorities in India. Please raise your voice in support of justice.
Please visit http://www.hlrn.org/cases.php to see the history of the actions taken to defend the housing and land rights of victims of the Narmada Valley dams and for contact information on this specific case, look under "Urgent action appeal: New Developments Related to the Implementation of the Sadar Sardovar Project."