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?MP bound by SC order on Narmada?

EVEN AS Medha Patkar's indefinite fast entered seventh day at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, an insouciant MP Government made it clear that the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader's stir over proposed raising height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam doesn't concern it.

india Updated: Apr 05, 2006 13:41 IST

EVEN AS Medha Patkar's indefinite fast entered seventh day at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi,  an insouciant MP Government made it clear that the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader's stir over proposed raising height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam doesn't concern it.

“We are bound by the Supreme Court order in letter and spirit and we are complying with all the court directives regarding rehabilitation of the oustees”, said Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) vice chairman Udai Verma. He informed that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has replied to the letter of the Union Water Resource Minister Saifuddin Soz, reaffirming the State Government's commitment to following the apex court's directives in letter and spirit.

The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) had cleared the proposal for raising the height of the dam from existing 110.64 meters to 121.9 meters in its meeting on March 8. Soz wrote to the chief ministers of riparian states – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat -- seeking credible guarantee about rehabilitation of the projected-affected people on March 11. 

On NBA allegation that more than 35,000 families remained to be rehabilitated in the riparian states, the NVDA vice chairman clarified that in Madhya Pradesh all the 14,130 families to be affected by raising of the dam's height to 122 meters would be rehabilitated much ahead of rising of dam water level.

“They (the projected-affected people) have accepted the package and are buying land for themselves. Our mind is very clear in the matter. We have to abide by the Supreme Court order”, he reiterated. 

He further pointed out that the NBA has filed a fresh petition before the Supreme Court against the NCA decision to raise the dam height but the court did not give it interim relief in the matter. The Supreme Court deferred hearing – originally listed for Monday last -- in the matter and posted it for April 17.