MPHC freezes Omkareshwar level at 189 m

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Jabalpur, June 20 (UNI) Dissatisfied over the Omkareshwar Dam Project-linked rehabilitation work, the Madhya Pradesh High Court today denied permission to raise the reservoir level beyond the present 189 m.

While hearing a plea by the Narmada Bachao Andolan's Chittaroopa Palit, Chief Justice Anang Kumar Pattnaik and Justice Ajit Singh directed the Grievances Redressal Authority to submit, in a fortnight, a report on how many oustees and their major sons received compensation.

The ruling was reserved yesterday after a two-day hearing. July 15 was set as the next date of hearing.

''About 10,000 families of 30 villages in Khandwa and Dewas districts are being affected by the dam being constructed over the Narmada in Khandwa district,'' Ms Palit submitted.

The NBA earlier submitted a petition in the High Court on behalf of the families. The Court ruled that all oustees be given land as compensation. All complaints were to be submitted to the Authority by March 31.

The state government and the Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation (NHDC) challenged the ruling in the Supreme Court that upheld the High Court ruling.

In a report submitted to the High Court, the Authority said that a total 6,500 complaints were received and were to be heard. The government, in an affidavit, admitted that about 2,000 oustess were yet to be given plots.

The NHDC was represented by Advocate Ravi Shankar Prasad while Advocate-General Ravinandan Singh argued for the state government.

UNI RG-AC 2113

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