Thousands of displaced gather in Madhya Pradesh along Narmada to protest Modi declaring dam completed a year ago

Thousands of displaced persons – tribals, farmers, labourers, fishermen and other people living in Narmada Valley of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat – gathered in Chhota Barda, Badwani, on September 17 to protest against Prime Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing the completion of the construction of the Sardar Sarovar dam exactly a year ago.
Organized by Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), the gathering highlighted how around 35,000 affected families of Sardar Sarovar are still living in the submergence area. NBA said in a statement, “By changing the backwater level, 16,000 families have been left out from getting any benefit which other displaced persons are to get. They don’t have complete right to farming or livelihood, or housing.”
“In 65 villages of Badwani district alone, a total of 4,500 families are left out”, NBA said, adding, “Despite the Supreme Court order, few thousand applications are pending for special grant of Rs 60 lakh. There is a complete lack of facilities at rehabilitation sites, such as water, roads, drainage and pastureland. Tribals of Maharashtra and Gujarat are still to get land or jobs. Forest rights Act remains to be implemented in their villages.”
Those who spoke on the occasion included Saraswati Bahen, Shyama Machchuara, Manjula Bahen, Gayatri Bahen, Kamla Yadav along with NBA leader Medha Patkar, President of the All India Kisan Sabha, Jaswinder Singh, and others.

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