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Press Release, Dam Site - Jalud                                                 January 13 2000


AGITATORS AND ACTIVISTS REFUSE TO COME OUT OF JAIL
DETERMINED TO CAPTURE DAM SITE AGAIN

Those who were arrested on 11th January from the site of Maheshwar Dam and put in Mandeleshwar jail, reiterated their determination from not to come out from the jail until they get a positive replay for their letter from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister. They also informed the authority that if they were forcefully removed from the jail, they will not go home but to the destructive dam site to stop the work.

Exactly 973 women, men, activists, etc were put in jail throughout the day and at midnight they were freed unconditionally with leaving the doors of the jail open. But the agitators refused to move till they were given all the informations about the Maheshwar Project. Earlier the police refused to arrest many of the activists and farmers due to want of place in jail, vehicle to transport and other facilities.

Today, on 12th January, all the arrested people wrote a common letter to the Chief Minister, with some specific questions, asking him to answer. The questions raised in the letter are:-

  1. Really how much Power will be produced from Maheshwar Project?
  2. What will be the price of this Power per unit at the project place?
  3. Because of the guarantee which is already given to SKumar's, how many rupees the Government would be compelled to give to S Kumar's and from where will that money come?
  4. Why was the recommendations of the Task Force, which was constituted by the MP Government, were not implemented and the alternatives suggested in that were ignored?
  5. Eventhough there is a clear cut policy of land for land to the displaced people, how come the SKumar's could not show even an inch of land? Then why the work on the dam is continuing?
  6. It is clear from a survey conducted by Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation that the problem of waterlogging will be severe in & around and it will affect more villages than the project will submerge. Then why was the affected people not informed?
  7. Knowing fully well that there are cheap and zero displacement alternatives to Maheshwar Project, why didn't the government go for that and allowed the expensive project to continue?

The people are determined to sit inside the jail till they get an immediate and positive replay from the Chief Minister or till the work on the dam stops. Except a cup of tea, the agitators were not provided with anything and they are still with hungry and thirsty, expecting the reply from the Chief Minister. In the meanwhile, the Maheshwar Jail was made as an office of the activists, with slogan, song, speeches, etc going on continuously with vigour. They also reiterated their determination that if they were removed forcefully they will directly proceed towards the destructive Maheshwar Dam site and stop the work.

Alok Agrawal
Delhi Contact : 6426783, 6237724.