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Narmada Dam affected want PM to redress their plight

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) today called upon the Prime Minister to come to the aid of villagers in the submergence zone of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and halt work on raising its height from 110.64 to 122 metres.

Both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz have 'clear authority' to intervene ''in this State versus People issue'', yet the government is dithering over the subject, NBA leader Medha Patkar complained while speaking to reporters on the 6th day of a sit-in protest outside the Ministry here.

People in the Narmada Valley are watching whether or not the Congress-led governments in Maharashtra and at the Centre would challenge the developmental policies pursued by BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat she said, demanding an immediate halt to work on the project.

The SSP is being pushed through without proper rehabilitation of the project-affected as mandated by law, the NBA says. Nearly 35,000 families in 245 villages of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat are among the project-affected, it says.

A representative for the nearly 350 adivasis and farmers on dharna here said the NBA would wait for the next 48 hours for a proper response from the government before intensifying its agitation.

UNI VN LR BST1800

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