With Medha Patkar breaking fast, I feel relieved: Soz

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz said he felt relieved with Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar breaking her 20-day long fast on the issue of rehabilitation of the Sardar Sarovar Dam outstees.

Mr Soz met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh following the Supreme Court judgement which said construction at the dam would be stopped if relief and rehabilitation measures for the oustees were found inadequate by May 1.

The apex court also directed the Centre, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to submit their report on rehabilitation issue within a week.

The Minister said he had already appealed to Ms Patkar to break her fast as the Centre was keen to see the rehabilitation work be done in the Narmada valley as per the directions of the apex court.

Mr Soz along with a Group of Ministers visited as many as 12 sites in the valley on April 6. He had reported that rehabiliation work of the affected families was far from satisfactory.

The NBA is agitating against raising the height of the dam from 110.64 metres to 121.92 metres. In addition to 35,000 families aleady affected in the valley, additional 16000 families will be affected if the height of the dam is raised.

Meanwhile, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also broke his 51-hour fast, saying the Supreme Court had directed continuation of the construction work on the dam.

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