Pune Mirror, Sep 6 2017, Bhopal: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar today (Wednesday) said the move to dedicate the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) to nation on September 17 is aimed at reaping political gains in upcoming polls in Gujarat.

The dam is proposed to be dedicated to nation “in a haste” on September 17 which happens to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday, she said.

In June, the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) granted permission to the Gujarat government to close the sluice gates in order to allow the Narmada river waters to rise to its full height up to 138.68 metres from the current 121.92 metres, which marks completion of the project.

Patkar has been leading protests in Madhya Pradesh against the “failure” of the state government to “properly” rehabilitate the people living in submergence areas of Narmada river.

Modi is expected to attend the closing ceremony of the ‘Maa Narmada Mahotsav’ on September 17 to formally inaugurate the dam, which was completed 56 years after its foundation was laid.

“The dam is being dedicated in a hurry without rehabilitating 40,000 families living in the catchment areas in Madhya Pradesh,” Patkar told reporters.

Madhya Pradesh CPI (M) secretary Badal Saroj, state AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) convener Alok Agrawal also expressed similar views.

“The haste is aimed at reaping political gains in Gujarat where assembly polls are due later this year,” they said.

The leaders appealed to like-minded organisations to launch a campaign against the proposed dedication ceremony in the interest of the dam oustees.

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