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16,000 oustee families to benefit if Centre 'agrees' on Narmada backwater level demand

By Our Representative
The Madhya Pradesh government has asked the Central Water Commission (CWC) to reconsider the backward level of the Sardar Sarovar dam, which were revised  in 2015. The revision had "kept out" a whopping 15,946 oustee families out of the project affected areas, claiming, these would not suffer drowning.
This was revealed during a meeting the anti-dam body, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), with Madhya Pradesh government officials led by Narmada minister Surendra Singh Baghel in Indore. Based on the review of the backwater levels, the previous state government had talked of "zero balance" for oustees' rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R).
Minister talking with NBA agitators
The meeting took place even as oustees continued their protests in the Narmada valley amidst rising water levels leading to sinking of roads in several villages, ruining crops, turning mohallas into small islands, ​​and submerging houses. Those present from the NBA side included its leader Medha Patkar and 35 of her associates.
The meeting followed an agitation by NBA activists in front of the Narmada Control Authority office in Indore protesting against the failure to take into account the oustees' plight while raising the water levels in the dam. Hundreds of women, led by Patkar, blocked the way on which the minister was passing through, expressing their anger towards the alleged destruction caused by submergence.

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