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Ministers' visit to Narmada site an eyewash: NBA

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) The Narmada Bachao Andolan activists today accused the three Union ministers, who had gone to visit submergence zones and rehabilitation centres, of playing a farce on the people with often changing site visit plans, making facile visits and scrapping schedules.

The team of three Union ministers scrapped the second-day plan of visiting submerged areas besides changing 'original plans' discussed at the eleventh hour, said NBA activist Deepti addressing the media this evening.

''Reports reaching here from areas visited by the government team comprising Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar and Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Prithviraj Chauhan said they gave very little time to hearing people and did not go to scheduled places.'' They were visiting only the rehabilitation centres and not to submerged areas and scrapped plans at will, she alleged.

''Three metres have been constructed beyond the 110 metres which was to be built which was to be done only when villages are to be submerged. This shows the callous attitude of the government.'' Condemning the government's attitude, Jawaharlal Nehru University President Mona Das, on hunger strike since yesterday along with JNUSU Vice-President Dhananjay Tripathi and AISA general secretary Avadhesh, asked how could the team sum up the rehabilitation of 20 years in a tour of just one day? ''It is not just the dam but the question of one's fundamental right to rehabilitation as a whole.'' Its amazing that we don't have a national rehabilitaion policy, she added.

JNU Prof Kamal Mitra Chenoy said we are not convinced of the report being fair and just. ''The fight is over people's basic rights.'' Meanwhile, NBA spokesperson said Medha Patkar's condition was stable at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

''She is taking rest and is in constant touch with us on an hourly basis.'' However, she is continuing with her hunger strike, she added.

Ms Patkar, who had been on indefinite hunger strike since March 29 at Jantar Mantar here, was forcibly taken to the AIIMS late night on April 5 as her condition was worsening.

She is under observation at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the AIIMS.


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