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Don't allow Narmada dam to be filled up to full reservoir level: NBA plea to Govt of India


A delegation of the well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), has asked secretary, Jalshakti Ministry, UP Singh, who is also chairman, Narmada Control Authority (NCA), that Sardar Sarovar dam should not be allowed to fill up to 139 metres, which is the full reservoir level, pointing out, so far, 32,000 families in 172 villages “still need to be rehabilitated satisfactorily.”
The delegation, which was led by Vimal Bhai, a close associate of well-known NBA leader Medha Patkar, said, the rising waters are threatening their life and livelihood, insisting on the urgent need to complete their rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R). “Until that happens let the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam be lowered so that water recedes from the villages of the Narmada”, it said.
An NBA release claimed, the secretary “didn’t have a word of assurance or even action to the delegation”, but only “kept repeating the same official line that R&R is complete as per NCA.” It added, “We urged him to ask the Government of Madhya Pradesh and check our claims because even today 8,000 cases in Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) are pending.”
The meeting took with the senior Government of India official took place following NBA’s protest meeting in Delhi, where Devram Kanera, senior NBA activist, demanded that oustees’ “rights and entitlements” which government provided as part of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal or Supreme Court orders.
Others who spoke included Annie Raja of the National Federation of Indian Women, Bhupender Rawat, farmer leader and convener, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Manoj of the All India Kisan Sabha, Vijayan MJ of the Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, and Madhuresh Kumar of the National Alliance of People’s Movements.

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