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Dam issue: SC asks states to explain rehab

SC has threatened to stop the Narmada Dam work if states fail to rehabilitate the displaced. Riverine woes|Narmada's tale

india Updated: Apr 18, 2006 03:18 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Warning parties against adopting agitative approach, the Supreme Court on Monday threatenedto stop work on raising the height of the Narmada Dam if the basin states did not carry out effective rehabilitation of the displaced people.

"It is made clear to the state governments (involved in Sardar Sarovar Project) that if the relief and rehabilitation to the unfortunate oustees is not granted in true letter and spirit, this court will have no option but to stop the work of dam," a Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal said.

Observing that there would not be any "compromise" on the relief and rehabilitation of the displaced people, the Bench said the permission to increase the height of the dam from 110 meter to 121.92 meter was taken after full satisfaction on the issue of rehabilitation.

Before concluding the day's proceedings on a petition against raising the dam's height, the Bench also comprising of Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justice SB Sinha asked the disputing parties to maintain calm and cool atmosphere and asked the Centre to take steps to resolve the controversy.

"The matter deserves to be examined in a fair, reasonable, cool and calm atmosphere and not in charged atmosphere. We hope that they (lawyers of concerned parties) will persuade the concerned stake holders about this requirement as creation of such atmosphere will facilitate early disposal of the matter," the Bench said.

"We clarify that pendency of these matters would not preclude the Centre from taking steps to resolve the controversy in accordance with the judgements of this court," it said.

First Published: Apr 17, 2006 11:30 IST