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Friday, September 24, 1999

Dam supporters to meet KRN

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE  
GANDHINAGAR, Sept 23: Organisations supporting the Sardar Sarovar Project have taken exception to President K.R. Narayanan's reported assurance to the National Alliance of People's Movements that the tribals of the Narmada valley would be done justice and have sought his appointment to present their version on the SSP controversy.

The Narmada Samarthan Samiti, a body of different organisations backing the dam, has in a fax message to the President expressed its shock over ``your unilateral assurance to Narmada Bachao Andolan in the name of providing justice to the PAFs.'' The Samiti has stated that its members would be leaving for Delhi and would camp there till they are granted an appointment by him to listen to their version.

The fax says, ``your assurance without considering the feelings of the people of Gujarat who are fighting for their legitimate right to drinking water is a serious injustice from the highest constitutional authority of the country.'' The Samiti claimed the SSP-affected tribals were rehabilitated properly.

The Samiti stated that the President's assurance to the NBA was unjust also because the issue is pending before the Supreme Court and that an independent authority had already been formed to oversee rehabilitation of oustees. It said the President was being guided by a handful of activists at the cost of the parched regions of Kutch, Saurashtra and North Gujarat who make up for almost half of Gujarat.

The message pointed out that Gujarat as of today was experiencing a serious drinking water crisis, which could have been avoided had the Narmada project been allowed to progress.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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