Public purpose: how the tourist destination of tomorrow continues to dispossess the adivasis of Narmada today
Injustice continues to haunt the Narmada River Valley! The Narmada Valley projects comprise 30 large dams, 135 medium size dams, 3000 small dams and a minimum of 75,000 kms of canal networks to direct the waters. Despite twenty years of struggles and supreme sacrifices and regardless of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal awards, Supreme Court and High Court orders, over a quarter of a million people, a large number of them tribals, are yet to be rehabilitated. While they await rehabilitation, a fresh set of displacement is being triggered off in Kevadia, Gujarat, the site of Sardar Sarovar Dam, for a huge tourism project centred on this "Pride of Gujarat". For the people of Kevadia their story becomes further tragic. After fighting the dam and displacement for so many decades, now there is a new foe to fight - Tourism. Of the 1777 acres of land acquired for the project, much of the 1400 acres unused is being proposed for tourism projects that would 'present the dam site in its pristine and natural glory, with national parks, planned gardens, woodlots, nature trails, an eco-museum and a panoramic view of the hills which will captivate the tourist and hold him in awe of the benefits provided by the project'. This publication is an investigative report on how this gross injustice has come to be.