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Guj gearing up to counter Medha's pressure on Centre on Narmada

Written by: Staff
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Ahmedabad, Apr 13 (UNI) Narmada Abhiyan Executive Chairman Jaynarayan Vyas today flayed the ''pressure tactics'' of Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and said the dam was the lifeline project of Gujarat.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Vyas said the Gujarat government and its people could go to any extent to put pressure on the Centre to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar Project on Narmada, as it was the lifeline project of the state.

Referring to ''pressure tactica'' of Ms Patkar, Booker prize award winner Arundhati Roy, actor Aamir Khan and others to force Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to withdraw the permission of raising the height of dam, Mr Vyas alleged that before taking any decision, Mr Singh should also consider that Gujarat was second largest tax-payer to the Centre and any decision against the development of state could adversely affect the nation too.

He said the Narmada Abhiyan (NA) has drawn up its line of action and a delegation of MPs from the state, cutting across party lines, will meet Mr Singh in New Delhi tomorrow.

They will also apprise the Prime Minister about the real intention of the NBA, which was acting at the behest of the some vested interests and foreign hands, he said.

The NBA activists were clearly doubting the decisions and authorities of the Narmada Control Authority, he said. He alleged that the recent statements made by Ms Roy and others indicate they (NBA activists) are challenging the decision of the apex court. ''If needed, we may file a petition of the contempt of court in the Supreme Court against those elements,'' he said.

Mr Vyas said that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his counter parts of other three beneficiary states -- Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan -- will also raise their views, concerns and opinions at the Chief Ministers' meeting to be held soon.

People and leaders of Gujarat could also adopt the line of Ms Patkar&Co by taking to streets with 'dharnas' and 'andolans', he said.

Countering the rehabilitation question of the NBA, he said with the rise of the dam height, total 16,156 families would be affected.

Of them, 2,238 had preferred to settle down in Gujarat, who have already been rehabilitated.

While the remaining 13,918 families had preferred to settle in Madhya Pradesh, of which 3,879 opted for the special relief package, he added.

UNI

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