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As Narmada water levels rise, MP minister 'supports' fasting Medha Patkar's demands

By Our Representative
Madhya Pradesh home minister Bala Bachchan called on Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar, who is on fast for the last four days to demand opening of gates of the Sardar Sarovar dam to ensure that the water levels in the dam are kept at 130 metres so that there is minimum submergence of villages in the upstream.
Even as expressing concern over the health of Patkar, who has been fasting for the last 4 days, Bachchan promised to resolve the demands by taking them to chief minister Kamal Nath. Parkar and her supporters told the minister that the dam’s water levels, which have already reached 134 metres, should be reduced to 130 meters.
Taking the water levels to the full reservoir level, 138.68 meters without rehabilitation would mean end to a living civilization, which would also mean infringement of the Narmada Tribunal award and various court orders, they asserted.
NBA activists said, the state government should push for a timetable for filling up Narmada water in the dam. This timetable should include rehabilitation of the oustees as a prerequisite. It should also follow the orders of the Grievances Redressal Authority (GRA) to ensure proper resettlement.
Even as the drowning of villages along the Narmada river has begun, they claimed, so far, the government has set up camps at only two places – Rajghat and Jangarwa. Maanwhile, they regretted, two persons people have died in Rajghat and one in Jangarwa when police tried to forcibly evict the oustees.

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