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Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Gujarat govt says no to kar seva

EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE  
VADODARA, November 30: The Gujarat Government has decided not to allow the Narmada Jan Andolan's (NJA) kar seva planned at the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) site on December 4. The official reason for disallowing the programme is that the site chosen is unsafe for people taking part in the kar seva.

Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel on Monday met ministers of departments having to do with the dam, police officers of the Vadodara range, where the dam site is located, and officials of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. They apprised him of what measures they had taken in and around the dam site.

Narmada Development Minister Jaynarayan Vyas told The Indian Express that the site selected for the programme could be reached only after climbing an incline with a 70 degree gradient, and people could all come tumbling down.

``Even otherwise, if people gather just out of curiosity, it would still be unsafe,'' Vyas said. Therefore, kar sevaks would be prevented from reaching the site, andprohibitory orders imposed ``as and when required'' at places the Government thought fit.

Vyas said the Government decision comes following NJA's insistence on sticking to its own chosen site for the kar seva. ``We have given them the option of performing the kar seva by taking water from downstream of the dam, and are still optimistic that a solution to this issue will emerge,'' he further stated.

However, NJA spokesman Madan Diwan said the site they had chosen for the programme would not be revealed till the last moment, ``but we have rejected the site proposed by the Government.''

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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