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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Villagers demand resettlement scheme

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Monday, April 16, 2001


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Villagers demand resettlement scheme

By Our Staff Reporter

BHOPAL, APRIL 15. Villagers in Madhya Pradesh who are affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) have intensified their struggle and are demanding that the State Government honour the provisions of the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal (NWDT) with regard to their displacement and resettlement.

People from Chiklada and nearby villages in Madhya Pradesh, who are supported by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), blocked the Khandwa-Baroda road for an hour on Saturday protesting the ``repressive tactics'' of the police.

There was tension in the area, and the police had to intervene when the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) tried to conduct a survey of households in Chiklada, in Kuskshi tehsil of Dhar district.

The village will be affected by the backwaters if the dam has a height of 90 m and submerged if the height is raised to 95 m. Due to resistance from the villagers, the NVDA team could not carry out the survey work.

The NBA has criticised the State Government, saying it had not resettled any of the 4,000 affected villagers. The Supreme Court, in its order issued last October, emphasised that the provisions of the NWDT award should be followed.

The Tribunal clearly laid down that any area could be submerged only after the people were resettled satisfactorily for six months. However, the dam's height had been raised to 90 m even when those affected by 80 m had not yet been resettled, the NBA has charged.

NBA activists said that the NVDA officials had only conducted a partial survey and were busy collecting ``false data and estimates''. They charged that the Government had no land for resettlement and was yet trying to displace villagers on the basis of false estimates.

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