(Reissuing DI 8, correcting name of dam in para 1, line 3)

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New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) The Madhya Pradesh Government today told the Supreme Court that it had 5000 hectares of land for rehabilitating the oustees of Omkareshwar Dam project and was prepared to hand it over to any agency appointed by the court for distribution.

Senior counsel Harish Salve assured a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice R V Raveendran that the state government was prepared to file an affidavit to this effect before the court and had no objection if Madhya Pradesh High Court was directed to monitor the progress of rehabilitation work.

He alleged that Narmada Bachao Andolan(NBA)leader Medha Patekar was deliberately creating probelm in the way of rehabilitation work. However, the allegation was strongly refuted by senior counsel Rajeev Dhawan appearing for the NBA.

The Madhya Pradesh Government also offered to waive off the recovery of the money it had already paid to the oustees which was about Rs 128 crore.

Earlier the apex court told the state government, '' Treat it as human problem. Don't make them landless. They will become vagabonds. Give them some land and rehabilitate them.'' The court directed the state government to file its affidavit as well as status report giving details of the progress made in the rehabilitation of the oustees by April 15 and adjourned the hearing till April 21.


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