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Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Silicon Valley Saga Series

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NBA says govt surveys for dam wrong

VADODARA, AUG 22: The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) today said that serious doubts have been cast over the authenticity of the surveys conducted by the different governments in the Narmada valley.

A NBA release issued here claimed that independent surveys have revealed that the level of the Jalsindhi (Madhya Pradesh) mentioned in the government records was wrong by as much as three metres. The release stated that a study conducted by Dr Ravi Kuchimanchi and a team had conclusively proved that the survey of levels in the Sardar Sarovar Dam project could be off as much as three metres so as to grossly underestimate the amount of submergence.

On the banks of Narmada, according to the release, in the village of Jalsindhi the elevation of the lowest house, as per the papers given by the government is 101.5 meters. However, as per the independent measurement, the house is actually at 98.4 meters, 3.1 meters short of the government figures.

The release further said that the study also found that the Hapeshwar temple, the benchmark, is off by three meters and so were the readings of the water levels measured by the government at this site in the past years. The release said that the benchmarks are supposedly to be highly accurate, even to the last millimeter.

The release claimed that this proved a gross underestimation of the effects of submergence in the Narmada valley during this monsoon and after. ``Hundreds of families, who did not find their names as affected persons will have to pay for this callousness. The affidavits submitted in the Supreme Court about the people who will get affected this monsoon, and the steps taken to rehabilitate them will also be proved wrong by this,'' the release stated.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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