Residents of several villages in Maharashtra Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's home district Satara are on a 'jal satyagraha', demanding rehabilitation of those affected by Wang-Marathwadi dam project.
"We have informed the Satara district collector that we will not budge from the venue till our demands are met," Suniti S R of the National Alliance of People's Movements said.
The Wang Marathwadi Dharangrast Kruti Samiti, affiliated to NAPM, started the 'jal (water) satyagraha' by planting seeds on the fertile river bed and making an effort to prevent the crops from being flooded by the river water from June 11 near Mendh village.
The dam is situated in Patan tehsil of Satara district. Mendh is among the nine villages affected by the construction of the dam.
"Four villages will be fully submerged and five villages will be partially submerged after the completion of the dam," Suniti said.
The villages, once bustling with fertile land, schools and basic amenities and infrastructure were vacated for construction of the dam.
The government's rehabilitation policy stipulates that
people who are to be displaced must also be rehabilitated in the command area of the dam with all basic infrastructural facilities. However, most of the over 1,800 families affected by this project are yet to be rehabilitated, Suniti said.
In April, Forest and Rehabilitation Minister Patangrao Kadam informed a meeting attended by district collectors of Pune, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur and representatives of the dam-affected sections that rehabilitation would be completed within six months, she said.