Khandwa Jal Satyagraha: Farmers reject land offered to them

  • Sunil Kheralkar, Hindustan Times, Khandwa
  • Updated: May 06, 2015 21:13 IST

The hope of an early settlement to the 26-day-old Jal Satyagraha at Ghogalgaon in Khandwa faded on Wednesday after a 10-member team of displaced villagers rejected the land offered to them at Narsinghpur and Hoshangabad.

One of the farmers in the team, Keserasingh, 55, of Kamankeda, who visited the site said that the officials of Narmada Hydroelectic Development Corporation (NHDC) showed them an encroached and infertile land at Narsinghpur district.

"The land which they have offered us is used by a potter and has a brick furnace. Some families are already residing there. So we refused to take it. We are demanding that either the government compensate us with suitable cultivable land or give us money according to the current guidelines," he said.

Senior Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist Alok Agrawal said that on April 4, a team led by sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Punasa, B Kartiken along with NHDC officials had met the NBA activists and oustees at Ghogalgaon village and had proposed them to assess some hectares of land at Narsighpur and Hoshangabad districts.

"But on Wednesday when our team of oustees from five villages visited the land offered to us we found it encroached and infertile so we refused it. On Monday the government had offered 350 hectares of land in Narsinghpur district. But when we reached the place they only showed us 45 hectare of land which too was encroached," he alleged.

Thirty odd farmers of Ghogalgaon are staging Jal Satyagraha by standing waist-deep in the backwaters of Omkareshwar dam since April 11.

The farmers alleged that the state government was ignoring their demands. The villagers are protesting against the rising of water level in Omkareshwar dam from 189 to 191 metres.

On Wednesday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) presented a memorandum addressed to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and state urban administration minister Kailash Vijayvargiya requesting the government to fulfill the demands of the displaced persons at the earliest.

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