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Fighting Ouster From Sardar Sarovar Dam, Protesters to go on Hunger Strike

Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar said rehabilitation guidelines were ignored and thousands are about to be dumped under tin sheds, construction of which was riddled with gross corruption.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:July 25, 2017, 6:47 PM IST
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Fighting Ouster From Sardar Sarovar Dam, Protesters to go on Hunger Strike
File photo of Sardar Sarovar Narmada dam. Image: Reuters
Bhopal: Accusing Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of showing apathy towards oustees of Sardar Sarovar Dam, Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar on Tuesday announced that oustees would sit on mass indefinite hunger strike from July 27 to protest against the move. The strike will go on till July 31.

Speaking to media in Bhopal, Patkar alleged that people, living in the areas facing submergence, are made to vacate their houses, farms and religious places, some of them hundred years old, despite the fact that colonies meant for rehabilitation are far from equipped with basic amenities like well, pipelines, drainage etc.

“Thousands are about to be dumped under tin sheds, construction of which was riddled with gross corruption,” Patkar said. The NBA activist armed with a copy of Supreme Court guidelines on resettlement and rehabilitation, alleged that complete rehabilitation was still a far cry.

Patkar alleged that neither the MP government needs any electricity nor the Gujarat government needs any water in the said arid patches but still the project is being pushed forward for political benefits.

According to Patkar, representatives of the oustees again called on CM Chouhan on Monday only to get lip service and hollow sympathies. “It’s time to exhibit public strength against the undemocratic system,” said Patkar.

She said that mass hunger strike against this oppression would commence somewhere at Dhar-Barwani border from July 27.

She also accused MP government of surrendering before the Gujarat government in the implementation of this project. “The water to be supplied from SSD is not meant for potable use or irrigation. It would aid industries,” she said.

The NBA activist alleged that there was gross corruption in the preparation of the list of oustees. She claimed that the gazette notification of the state government says that 18,386 families would be made to leave their houses while the list contains names of those who have left villages decades ago, or those who are already ousted from the project. She alleged that a large number of those living there haven’t found a place in the list.

If Patkar is to be believed, 40,000 families are facing submergence due to closure of Sardam Sarovar Dam gates.

Former Samajwadi Party MLA and farmers’ leader Dr Sunilam said that Rs 90,0000 crore could have been utilised for an efficient water supply system but gross corruption involved did not allow this to happen.

“Majortiy of Shivraj Singh Chouhan's partymen were middlemen and have even been named in the report of Jha Commission,” he said.
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