These are being pushed without compliance with the mandatory environmental safeguard measures and without assuring prior rehabilitation with alternative land and livelihood to thousands of affected families. Having visited the agro-rich valley and having seen the self-reliant livelihoods of the farmers and adivasis, already threatened by the giant Sardar Sarovar Dam, we are appalled that the Madhya Pradesh Government has embarked on an irrational and destructive agenda of excavating huge canals through the very same villages, already in the submergence area of the SSP! This is an unnecessary burden on the people and the State exchequer, the High Court of M.P. ruled in November 2009.
We have been observing that the multi-disciplinary Expert Committee appointed by the MoEF in 2008 and chaired by Former FSI Director General, Dr. D. Pandey has submitted a series of Reports to the Ministry, pointing out glaring non-compliance of the various stipulations in the clearances and guidelines to the SSP, ISP & OSP. The Committee clearly concluded that the command area development plans for both the canals are incomplete and cannot be approved. We only find it reasonable that the Committee’s conclusion in its July 2010 report (4th interim report) on no further land acquisition and canal construction and recommendation that the Supreme Court may withdraw its order of temporarily permitting the canal work must be accepted and upheld by the Ministry as well.