UNDETERRED BY the heavy security measures all along the banks of Narmada on the Gujarat side, the “Rally for the Valley” led by Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy started the final leg of its journey from Bhabaria village this morning.
After their night stay at the village in Nisarpur, Madhya Pradesh, the rallyists went to Kakrana by road.
A three-hour boat ride through the swollen river from Kakrana would take the rallyists to Jalsindhi and Dmokhedi (Maharashtra) which will be the first villages to be submerged in this year’s monsoon.
According to sources, the downstream boat ride for the rallyists would not be difficult as the boat would go along with the strong current of the river. Meanwhile, several pro-dam NGOs from Gujarat have reportedly stationed themselves in Chhotaudepur
Taluka bordering Madhya Pradesh.
They will resist attempts of the rallyists to cross over to the Gujarat side.
Five busloads of State police have been deployed in Hanfeshwar and adjoining areas on the western bank of the river.
The Gujarat Govt has said it will stop the rallyists from entering Gujarat. It sees the controversial Narmada Dam Project as a lifeline for the State.
However, no clashes are likely to take place between the pro-dam activists and Gujarat police on this side and the anti-dam rallyists on the other side as the latter are not to enter Gujarat territory.