Dam dis­placed fam­i­lies stage Jal Satya­graha

The New Indian Express - - INDIA -

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.

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