?Medha obstructing rehab work?

GUJARAT FORMER MLA Council has charged Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar with obstructing the process of rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar dam oustees.

india Updated: Apr 25, 2006 13:35 IST

GUJARAT FORMER MLA Council has charged Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar with obstructing the process of rehabilitation of Sardar Sarovar dam oustees.

Council members Shankerlal Guru, Nathalal Patel and Hasumati Ben Patel, who stopped in the City on way to Bhopal, told reporters today that NBA has projected incorrect figures about project affected persons (PAPs) and has created conflict among oustees by making them accept different amounts of compensation.

“She should have played a more positive role in helping the oustees to resettle properly and effectively. On the contrary, she should help sort out differences between the government and displaced,” Guru remarked. The ex-MLAs from Gujarat said that in several villages like Brahman in Madhya Pradesh, NBA hobnobbed with government officials including Patwari and Tehsildar to distribute cash compensation against the laid provisions.

When this cash was distributed, Patkar raised a hue and cry that compensation was not as per the provisions and that was what was causing delay in rehabilitation. “As a result, 22 officials were suspended,” Council members informed and demanded an inquiry into the matter.

They said that when Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) was set up following an apex court judgement in 2000, Patkar never complained before the Authority about the irregularities in rehabilitation. Adding that Patkar wanted to stop the construction at any cost, Patel demanded to know why was Baba Amte’s ashram at Kasaravad, which falls under submergence, still safe. Other affected villages like Bijasan, Katnera, Dehal, Bilkheda, Eklera, Kukara and Nisarapur are also safe from submergence, they added.

“While there are 25 crore people spread across MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan who will get water and electricity from SSP, there are just 35,000 PAPs. So who should get priority in a democracy,” Guru asked, saying that larger public interest should not be overlooked.

First Published: Apr 25, 2006 13:35 IST