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NBA begins satyagraha for rehabilitating 'thousands' of Narmada dam oustees

By Our Representative
The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has begun satyagraha at Rajghat in Badwani in Madhya Pradesh, on the banks of Narmada river, to urge authorities complete rehabilitation before submerging the villages affected by the Sardar Sarovar dam. An NBA note issued on the occasion claimed that even today, along the ​​214 km length of the Narmada river, 32,000 of 192 villages of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat remain to be rehabilitated.
Criticizing the “insensitivity” of the rulers, NBA said, people are fighting in a non-violent way against the “unjust decisions” which has led to the displacement of peasants, labourers, fishermen, potters, boatmen and traders. The corrupt broker-officer nexus has looted the poor by making wrong lists of rehabilitated families, it added.
Saying that the Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government it has learned some lesson after holding dialogue with NBA, the people’s organization regretted, even today corruption continues unabated in the allocation of livelihood options.
Putting forward a series of demands, NBA said, government officials responsible for rehabilitating Narmada dam oustees should stay put in each affected village to clear the backlog of thousands of applications for redressing their grievances regarding rehabilitation.
Pointing out that at the rehabilitation sites set up for the oustees, there is grazing for cattle, no cremation ground, and no facilities are available for for drinking water. On the other hand, temporary tin sheds have been set up to rehabilitating the oustees by spending crores.
Calling the Gujarat government decision to “forcibly” install gates on the Narmada dam a violation of the Supreme Court order, as require that oustees should be rehabilitated before raising the dam height, NBA said, the government should ensure that Narmada river flows freely and remains clean.

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