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Tuesday, October 19, 1999

Medha seeks CM's support

MADHAV GOKHALE  
PUNE, OCT 18: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar has maintained that the Congress-led coalition in Maharashtra should uphold its Madhya Pradesh counterpart's stance on the contentious Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP).

``It suits them (the new rulers of Maharashtra) even politically,'' Patkar today told The Indian Express.

Taking time out from meetings with activists during her brief stay in Pune, the NBA leader was busy preparing a representation for members of the newly constituted State Assembly vis-a-vis her exercise in Narmada valley aimed at changing the socio-ecological-economic scenario in the SSP affected areas.

``Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh (MP) were sailing in a same boat as far as the SSP was concerned,'' she said speaking against the backdrop of the NBA's recent satyagraha in the valley and former chief minister Narayan Rane's anti-NBA stir statements.

The Madhya Pradesh Government has filed a fresh suit in the Supreme Court seeking reformation of the SSP water tribunal, re-looking into the situation arising out of the Supreme Court freezing the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam to 88 meters. Opposing the dam making any further progress, the Madhya Pradesh Government argues that the post-Supreme Court judgement SSP was not in position to deliver its assured 56 per cent share in electricity notwithstanding its share of investments.

``Maharashtra is facing similar predicaments. The possibilities of it getting its assured 23 per cent share in power are fast fading out,'' Patkar said, making a point that besides investing in the multi-crore project Maharashtra already has lost 10600-odd hectares of its precious forest land.

Part of the forest was submerged while part of it was chopped off to make adequate land available to rehabilitate the project affected people (PAPs), she said adding that Maharashtra was not supposed to get any irrigation benefits of the project.CONTINUED ON PAGE 3

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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