Prominent citizens across the country including former National Advisory Council members, former bureaucrats, academics, artists, activists and others led by justice (retired) Rajinder Sachar have urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a review and discussion on Sardar Sarovar Dam in national interest.
Their appeal has come in the form of an open letter, just two days before the PM is scheduled to inaugurate the construction work on October 31 at the dam site in Gujarat, to raise the height of the dam by 17 metres.
The letters says that the decision to raise the height of the dam further (from 121.92 metres to 138.68 metres), will affect 44 additional village communities and one whole township, up to 214 km-long area in the Narmada basin with 45,000 families, most of them in Madhya Pradesh.
"This will be done in violation of the Narmada Water Distribution Tribunal Award and Supreme Court order," since the resettlement and rehabilitation of the people are not complete, it stated. The letter was released by the National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) on Wednesday.
They urged that the former PM Manmohan Singh had given assurance to the SC in 2006 that as per law, all the project affected people will be rehabilitated first and then only the dam will be completed.
Modi is bound both by virtue of his office and by law to keep up this promise, they have said, adding that in this light the PM should call for a discussion and review of the ground situation on resettlement and rehabilitation in the larger national interest.