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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

No positive step from MP govt despite assurance, allege protesters

PTI  Khandwa, September 09, 2012
First Published: 22:46 IST(9/9/2012) | Last Updated: 22:49 IST(9/9/2012)

A day after Madhya Pradesh government reached out to agitating villagers who have spent 16 days in neck-deep waters demanding rehabilitation of Narmada dam oustees, the protesters on Sunday alleged that there has been no positive step on ground and refused to end their stir.

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"The assurances from the government that they are going to take positive steps doesn't seem to have any basis," Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Chittaroopa Palit, who is participating in the protest, said.

Deputed by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, ministers Kailash Vijaywargia and Vijay Shah on Saturday visited village Ghogalgaon, 40 km from in Khandwa, and met the agitators assuring them of an early decision to protect their rights.

A central team is likely to arrive at the protest site on Monday, NBA sources said.

The protesters, who have rejected chief minister's appeal to end their stir, said there was no question of giving up till their demands are met.

"They are saying that we should get up and that they will consider whether they should reduce the water level and rehabilitate the people...that is completely unacceptable," Palit said, alleging that the government was delaying the decision "so that the movement is broken up, people's will is broken and nobody is rehabilitated".

The Jal Satyagraha, under the aegis of Narmada Bachao Andolan, was launched to demand proper rehabilitation and reduction in the water level of dam at Indira Sagar Project on river Narmada.

The protesters, who have developed rashes with their skin peeling off after staying submerged for so long, alleged that the water was being released depite the authorities knowing that they will drown if the water level rises any further.

Demanding land for land, the dam-affected persons have also pointed out that as per the Supreme Court directives, the rehabilitation work should have been completed at least six months before the land in their village got submerged.

Similar protests have been going on since the last twelve days at Barkhalia in Khandwa district and Khardana in Harda district as the land in these villages also got submerged due to rise in the water level at Omkareshwar dam.

Both Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar hydropower projects were built on river Narmada.


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