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NBA contests Govt?s rehab claims

HUNDREDS OF Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists from Barwani and Khargone district, led by NBA leader Medha Patkar, staged a dharna at the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) office in the City today.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2006 15:40 IST

HUNDREDS OF Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists from Barwani and Khargone district, led by NBA leader Medha Patkar, staged a dharna at the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) office in the City today. The NBA activists, affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project, are demanding rehabilitation of all the families affected by the dam being built in Gujarat.

The immediate provocation for the dharna and the protest demonstrations of the NBA was the news that the Madhya Pradesh Government had submitted an Action Taken Report (ATR) to the NCA (the Central Government agency for monitoring the rehabilitation).

In the ATR, the State Government is reported to have pledged that all affected families till the dam height of 121.92 metres has been rehabilitated. The present height of the dam is 110 metres and can be further heightened only after the State Government gives an assurance to NCA that all the affected families have been properly rehabilitated.

The bone of contention is that while the NBA says that there are 14,146 families still to be rehabilitated by the government, the State Government claims that all families who will be affected by the dam at the height of 121.92 meters have been properly rehabilitated.

“All families affected by the dam at the height of 121.92 metres have been rehabilitated. We have so far rehabilitated 28,742 families,” claimed Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) Commissioner Vinod Kumar. NVDA is the State Government agency for rehabilitation.

Asked about the dharna and the protest demonstration of affected families at the NCA office today, Vinod Kumar said the NBA does not know the ground reality. “We have done the rehabilitation of all affected families as per the law,” he said.

Earlier in the morning, hundreds of NBA activists converged at Visarjan Ashram in the City and proceeded to Regal Square where they created traffic jam to register their protest against what they termed ‘the apathetic attitude of the State Government towards the dam affected families’, most of whom are tribals.

After some time the NBA activists proceeded to the NCA office located at Vijay Nagar and staged a dharna

First Published: Jan 04, 2006 15:40 IST