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Key Narmada meet on Thursday

September 18, 2007 21:09 IST

The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) is likely to meet on Thursday in New Delhi to assess the rehabilitation status of the 25,000 families affected by the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD) reservoir. It will also decide on completing the dam height by installing the gates.

Though the rehabilitation of more than 25,000 families in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat is said to be far from complete, the authorities are reportedly pushing strongly to install the gates.

"The height of the dam cannot be increased until all the families affected are completely rehabilitated, with cultivable lands and other amenities, as per the stipulations of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award (NWDTA)," said senior Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Arundhati Dhuru. A petition has been submitted to the Prime Minister's office and other officials as well.

Some of the demands were: The rehabilitation of more than 25,000 families should be completed, as per the law i.e. land for land rehabilitation and other amenities to all those who have legal rights for it, in their own state, before the dam is completed ; the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam should be stayed (as per status quo) until and unless rehabilitation is completed in a just and appropriate manner; since the fishing families are losing their livelihood, they should be provided legal rights for fishing in the reservoir and other amenities; illegal cash for land rehabilitation be banned; the serious issues of land and livelihood of those who are already resettled, but not yet rehabilitated; monitoring bodies such as NCA and Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRA) should comprehensively asses the ground realities.

Bobby Ramakant in