to some very commonly and frequently asked questions related to the
Sardar Sarovar Project are briefly
When it is expected that shifting of the tribals from
their original habitat, would make them lose their identity in the
milieu of new environment and there would be a considerable shift in
their culture, style of living and various customs and
practices being observed by them, then why they are being relocated
A few persons
romanticize that tribals living in forest and hills will lose their
culture and tradition if they are resettled in the areas surrounded by
other villages, semi urban areas etc. Such persons do forget that
socio-cultural change is a dynamic process and all of us are affected
in this relationship in many ways.
The Sardar Sarovar
storage reservoir would affect 244 villages in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat
& Maharashtra. The Project Affected Families (PAFs) to be
rehabilitated including major sons under this project includes 33014
PAFs in M.P. 3213 PAFs in Maharashtra and 4600 PAFs in Gujarat
comprising 40827 PAFs in total. As per policy, PAFs have a choice to
resettle in main beneficiary State of Gujarat or in their home State.
In Maharashtra, all the
PAFs are tribals representing mainly Tadvi, Vasava, Pawra, Bhil and
Naiks. In Madhya Pradesh, 29% population belong to tribals mainly
Bhils and Bhilalas, while in Gujarat, 97.4% population belong to tribals
mainly Tadvi, Rathwa, Vasawa, Nayaka and Dungri Bhils. The Tribals
represent 49.6% in the total PAFs.
Efforts are being made to preserve the culture of their original
habitat for the tribals without impeding the parallel process of
bringing them into the mainstream. The tribal oustee families from a
particular submergence village are by and large relocated and
resettled as a group at a site chosen by them. Besides efforts are
being made to resettle them at the site where the tribal groups in the
host community are akin to them.
Yet it is a recognized
fact that the involuntary displacement of oustees (i.e. PAPs / PAFs)
from their original habitat does have an element of emotional trauma.
The effort of GRA has been focused on ensuring the effective
implementation of the provisions of the NWDT Award and the liberalized
Government of Gujarat Resolutions of R&R so as to ensure proper
resettlement and rehabilitation of the Project Affected Persons /
Families in Gujarat. Several multidimensional initiatives and
innovative interventions, have been taken by / or at the instance of
GRA top further augment the socio – economic and cultural status of
the PAPs / PAFs. Ultimate objective to ensure their harmonious
integration with the host community and to bring them center-stage in
the mainstream of the development effort.
The Centre for Social
Studies (CCS), Surat is the monitoring agency for the Government of
Gujarat. This institute had prepared monographs on each of the
submerging villages located in Gujarat State highlighting their
socio-economic & cultural status before resettlement. The Study of
CSS revealed that the socio-economic status of PAFs have improved
compared to submerging villages and the PAFs are now joining the main
stream of the country’s development. The findings indicate that land
ownership has increased from 68% to 100%, engagement in cultivation
from 42% to 55-60%, casual labour percentage decreased from 11-17 to
1-3, agricultural labour percentage decreased from 4 to 1-2, calorie
intake (calorie / adult / day) increased from 2418 to 2446, the
percentage of education increased from 25 to 41 in case of male and
from 6 to 18 in female. The average death rate (person / thousand)
declined from 12 ( national rural average) to 7 and infant mortality
rate (person / thousand) from 104 to 29.
It takes many years for
the success of any R&R programme to be finally judged. A programme
of this magnitude and complexity cannot be without problems. But they
are not so daunting as to defeat or delay the fruits of resettlement
and rehabilitation measures. Major segment of PAFs seem to have
overcome the trauma of displacement and appear to be well integrated
with the host community. This is significant.
We are living in the age where people are talking of global village.
India believes in a pluralistic society where every one is encouraged
to practice their own way of life. Our R&R policies and programmes
on SSP are aimed to achieve them. The tribals in the Narmada Valley
are not differentiated section of Indian Society and have not any
distant relations with indigenous People as present in Australia,
America and Canada. The tribal PAFs after their R&R have
integrated with host communities and are performing all their cultural
activities, rituals, social festivals and traditions and now joining
the mainstream of country’s development.
Q. Why the project is
being pushed even though the large parts of the area slated to be
irrigated have soil which are highly prone to water logging and
salinity and are not suited for canal irrigation ?
Waterlogging due to excessive
ground water accumulation can be a side effect of canal irrigation
over a long period. It can be prevented by appropriate water
management practices. In the SSP, following specific measures have
been built in the system, and would ensure that there would not be any
problem of waterlogging or salinity surfacing :
- Lining main canal, branch and entire canal net
work upto 8 ha. block to minimize seepage.
- Limited water delta of 53 cm (21") against
normal 75 cm in existing projects.
- Simultaneous command area development.
- Conjunctive use of surface and ground water.
- Remote Controlled Automatic Canal Operation.
- Volumetric and rotational water supply by
- Minimum borrow areas by the side of canal due to
borrowing earth from village tanks and drains, thus reducing
- Water application allowance based on
- Better water management practices and active
participation of farmers.
- Encouragement of drip, sprinkle and other water
conservation high tech agro practices.
- Water balance and salt balance studies and
Water logging and soil salinity
to some extent are associated with water resources projects if
remedial measures are not built in during the planning stage. Care has therefore
been taken to prevent water logging & increase of salinity in the parts of the
areas to be irrigated from SSP which are prone to water logging and