The Supreme Court bench consisting of Justice N.V.Ramana and Justice Ajay Rastogi, today, issued notices to Union of India, States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Narmada Control Authority directing them to reply. The case is listed for hearing on September 26, to decide the question of rehabilitation before submergence as well as the water level to be maintained in the Sardar Sarovar Dam.
The notices were given responding to the Writ Petition, filed by persons affected by submergence in Sardar Sarovar due to direction given by the Narmada Control Authority contrary to Narmada Tribunal’s Award (NWDTA) and earlier judgments of the Supreme Court, wherein it is mandated that no submergence should take place without rehabilitation, came up for hearing today after impleadment of State of Gujarat and Maharashtra as parties.
Sanjay Parikh, Senior Advocate, appearing for Petitioners, saidthat Sardar Sarovar being an inter-State project, terms and conditions of the Award are binding on the concerned States i.e. the States of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The stipulation that no submergence should take place till complete resettlement and rehabilitation is done, is not only a mandatory condition in the said Award but was also affirmed by the Supreme Court judgments in 2000 and 2005.
It was pointed out by the Petitioners that in April 2019, the State of Gujarat insisted that the dam should be filled up to 138.68m, to check the safety of the dam and testing the dam gates.Also,though the Award entitles the State of Madhya Pradesh and State of Maharashtra to receive a defined share in the generated electricity at the project, but the State of Gujarat, instead of operating RBPH (the main power house)assured that they will compensate the respective States.