Maheshwar dam gates can’t be closed: NGT
The NGT has ordered that the Madhya Pradesh and central governments would not take any steps to close the gates of newly constructed Maheshwar dam or cause any submergence in the affected area until the rehabilitation and resettlement work related to the project is complete.bhopal Updated: Nov 03, 2015 17:01 IST
The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered that the state and central governments would not take any steps to close the gates of newly constructed Maheshwar dam or cause any submergence in the affected area until the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) work related to the project is complete.
The Narmada Bachao Andolan that has been claiming that R&R work remains incomplete for over 60,000 people affected by the project has welcomed the NGT’s directive.
The order came on October 28 following a hearing on a review petition filed by two persons (Antar Singh of village Sulgaon and Sanjay Nigam of village Mardana) displaced by the dam. Earlier, the former promoters of the project S Kumars had obtained order of the NGT to fill water in the dam up to 154 metres level.
On October 28, however, the bench of Justice UD Salvi and expert member Ranjan Chatterjee observed in their order that “presently the work of construction is complete and R&R work has not kept the required pace with the completion of the project”.
They further said “the reason for not completing the R&R is the release of funds by the project proponent … we may not go into the issue of release of funds but we can certainly reiterate our orders that there shall be no lowering/closure of the gates causing submergence of the area without the R & R being completed”.
“The NBA welcomes the NGT order and demands that after this order, the state should determine the compensation under the new Act of 2013, and reassess the viability of the project in light of its high cost of electricity which has already made the project unviable,” Alok Agrawal of NBA said.
If the project is found to be viable, he said, the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons should be completed.