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No field inspection in five years: SC lawyer

SUPREME COURT lawyer Prashant Bhushan who accompanied the team of Union Ministers to Sardar Sarovar Project Affected Persons (PAPs) in Nimad region last week has expressed hope that Union Government would stop construction of dam till the 33,000 PAPs are rehabilitated of whom 30,000 PAPs were in Madhya Pradesh none of whom had been rehabilitated.

india Updated: Apr 10, 2006 14:46 IST

SUPREME COURT lawyer Prashant Bhushan who accompanied the team of Union Ministers to Sardar Sarovar Project Affected Persons (PAPs) in Nimad region last week has expressed hope that Union Government would stop construction of dam till the 33,000 PAPs are rehabilitated of whom 30,000 PAPs were in Madhya Pradesh none of whom had been rehabilitated.

Talking to newspersons here today, he said that union ministers who visited affected sites were convinced about the unjust treatment meted out to the people.

He said that ministers would submit the report to the Prime Minister this week if the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) review committee failed to reach a consensus on stopping the dam height. “If the Prime Minister doesn’t take decision then we will argue with Supreme Court during the hearing on April 17.

If the SC adjourns it again, then people will be pushed to violence,” he said and reiterated that Narmada Bachao Andolan is a peaceful movement.

He charged the Grievances Redressal Authority and Resettlement and Rehabilitation agency with not carrying field inspections during the last past five years. To a query, he said that the Government has not rehabilitated PAPs even at 90-meter dam height. Bhushan said that people told the visiting team that State Government never made a valid offer to allocate house plots or cultivable land to them.

He demanded to know how NCA could grant consent to raise the SSP dam height from 110 to 122 meters when there are SC directives to avoid raising the height till resettlement was completed six months before submergence. He said the NCA decision was unconstitutional. Bhushan later took part in the demonstration against the Government’s lack of action at Divisional Commissioner’s office.

First Published: Apr 10, 2006 14:46 IST