Rehab: SC asks for NBA, State claims
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Madhya Pradesh government to state their claims and counter-claims on relief and rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Project oustees to facilitate a decision on whether work on raising the dam height should continue.india Updated: May 02, 2006 21:50 IST
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Madhya Pradesh government to state their claims and counter-claims on relief and rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Project oustees to facilitate a decision on whether work on raising the dam height should continue.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, then posted the matter for further hearing to May 8. Earlier appearing for the NBA, senior counsel Shanti Bhushan contested the MP government’s claim that it had carried out all relief and rehabilitation work in keeping with the spirit of the court’s earlier judgments.
He argued that as per the court’s judgement relief and rehabilitation work was supposed to be completed one year before the actual submergence.
However, the MP government had in its counter-affidavit claimed that this one-year rule did not apply to it. It only applied to the Gujarat government, the affidavit stated.
Bhushan picked holes in the MP affidavit to show that the court judgment on rehabilitation had not been followed in “letter and spirit”.
The affidavit stated that the rest of the rehabilitation work would be completed by April-end, only a month before the submergence. He also pointed out that no civic amenities or electricity connections were available in several sites. Work on at least 11 rehabilitation sites had not been completed, he said.
Bhushan pleaded for a stay on the dam work on the ground that the apex court’s judgment made it clear that the height could only be raised only a year after all rehabilitation work was complete.
However, his arguments were opposed by MP counsel Harish Salve. The court then directed him to present his claims on rehabilitation before it took a view on whether effective rehabilitation had been done and what consequences should follow if it hadn’t been done.