?Our homes won?t drown?
A major reason why villagers are unwilling to shift is apparently because they are sure their villages won't be swallowed by the waters of the Narmada.india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 01:36 IST
Medha Patkar may have fasted for 20-odd days for the rehabilitation of oustees of the Sardar Sarovar project but many of them have deliberately chosen not to move to their new homes. As a result, most of the rehabilitation sites remain vacant.
One reason why project-affected families aren't shifting to these sites could be because the Narmada Valley Development Authority has not been able to provide all the civic amenities required. But a major reason why they are unwilling to shift is apparently because they are sure their villages — though bracketed in the submergence zone — won't be swallowed by the waters of the Narmada.
It is a fact that most of the villages that were marked permanent submergence areas when the dam height was raised to 95 meters haven't gone underwater. Baba Amte's hamlet in Kasravad, where he firmly opposed the dam, stands rock-solid. So do Bijasan, Katnera, Gehalgaon, Bhilkheda, Eklera, Kukara and Nisarpur villages, where people continue to live. Some of the areas marked submergence areas at 95 meters have even survived the dam height going up to more than 110 meters. This has given people hope that maybe they too won't have to say goodbye to their homes and childhood memories.
But according to NVDA chairman A.V. Singh, all this is wishful thinking.