The chief justice of Madhya Pradesh high court, AM Khanwilkar, will now hear the petition filed by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar in which she has alleged that farmers have suffered huge losses due to delay in development of command area of the Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar projects. The petition has been transferred to Jabalpur.
Justice PK Jaiswal and Justice DK Paliwal, who were to hear this case in Indore bench, on Tuesday refused to hear the case on the ground that they would have to hear all the arguments from the beginning and it would delay matters.
The petition was earlier being heard in Jabalpur by Justice Khanwilkar, but the case was transferred to Indore as the affected parties came under the jurisdiction of the Indore bench. Here the case was being heard by Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice Khanwilkar.
In the petition, Patkar had alleged that due to delay in completion of canal work in both Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar, the farmers had suffered crop damage. The petition had alleged that in certain places the loss was due to water logging and in certain area the debris of the dug up canal had been dumped on farmers' land.
An earlier order the court in February had directed the officials of the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) to complete the work by June 2014, before the monsoon, but the NVDA failed and sought two months extension. The court had directed that compensation be paid to farmers on an ad hoc basis and then final compensation should be paid after completion of the case.
However, one of the conditions imposed on the NBA was that they would not hold any demonstration till completion of the work. But couple of days back, 12 NBA activists were arrested from Barwani when they were staging protest for delay in completion of work.