Dam displaced families stage Jal Satyagraha
TWO days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Sardar Sarovar Dam to mark his 67th birthday in Gujarat, the Medha Patkar-led Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists claimed the water level in the submergence area of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada rose across Barwani and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh.
The NBA activists along with representatives of the families displaced by the dam in the submergence zone intensified the protest opposing the project, in Barwani district of MP.
Demonstrations were held on Friday at Chota Barda village, where representatives of displaced families shaved their heads, similar to protest by 30 representatives of the families at Neelam Park in Bhopal on Thursday.
They also held a rally under the leadership of Patkar at Anjad and started jal satyagraha at the rising Narmada river near the Chota Barda village. They warned the Centre and the state government that if the submergence of the area caused due to release of water from other dams in MP was not stopped by Saturday evening, the jal satyagraha will turn into jal samadhi.
The NBA has sought immediate stoppage of filling the Sardar Sarovar dam as rehabilitation measures recommended by the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal, state policy and court judgments have not yet been completed.
The NBA leaders alleged that that Madhya Pradesh government’s coercive measures endanger the lives of more than 40,000 families living in the submergence area of the dam.
Since Thursday, water level is continuously rising and has now reached 128.5 meters flooding Rajghat, Nisarpur and other villages in Dhar and Barwani districts.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat Congress claimed that 43,000 km of canals were yet to be built as part of the Narmada project despite the BJP ruling the state for 22 years.
“Though the BJP claims that the project is completed, over 43,000 km of canals are yet to be built,” Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki alleged.