THE MP High Court on Friday permitted the Narmada Hydro-electric Development Corporation (NHDC) to raise the water level of Indira Sagar Project to 260 meters from 255 meters in Punasa, Khandwa. At the same time, the court observed that since rehabilitation work in the affected areas was not yet over, it couldn’t permit the NHDC to fill the dam to the full reservoir level (FRL) of 262.13 meters.
The HC however said the rehabilitation policy was constitutionally valid. The court in August 2005 permitted the NHDC to raise the water level from 248 meters to 255 meters.
On the encroachers residing in the affected areas, including 91 villages, before the cut-off date of April 30, 1987, the court ruled that the they too are entitled to benefits under the rehabilitation policy. The court directed the NHDC and the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) to consult the Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) to carry out the incomplete rehabilitation work.
The Central Water Commission, GRA, NHDC and the NHPC should evaluate the effect of backwater after the dam’s water level is raised above 255 meters.
The court ordered the government to give benefits of rehabilitation and resettlement policy to adult persons, including unmarried women of affected families.
While disposing of the Narmada Bachao Andolan’s PIL, a division bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice S S Kemkar ordered that land be provided for construction of houses to the oustees who had lost their houses during acquisition, though they still possess agriculture land.
The court ordered the Government to induct M R Kasania, a retired judge, as member to the GRA, and directed the GRA to hold weekly meetings in the affected area and compute the rehabilitation work.