The Free Press Journal, Feb 28 2017, Ratlam: Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar during her visit to Ratlam expressed concern over Madhya Pradesh’s lifeline Narmada river, saying the holy river was facing serious challenges to its existence.

Addressing media persons here at Patrakar Bhawan on Sunday night, the renowned social activist who is leading the NBA movement for decades said, “If we don’t take suitable measure to save the river now, it will lose its existence.”

Replying on government measure of conserving the river through Namami Devi Narmade Yatra, she said Narmada Yatra was an age old tradition of tribal community and devotees here, but now the CM was organising this for different objective and goal.

She further alleged Narmada Yatra being undertaken was to divert the attention of people from the exploitation of tribals and the river. Taking a dig at the government for encouraging eco-tourism activities, she said, “Narmada is endangered, and the government is busy in branding so that the benefits of tourism projects could be taken by industrial houses.”

“The level of illegal sand mining is alarming and the river has become polluted due to laxity of administration and political involvement,” she claimed. Patkar further said the Narmada-Kshipra link project was based on the concept of giving water for the ensuing DMIC projects in Ratlam, Mandsaur and Neemuch districts.

In the name of eradication of pollution of the river the money being spent was not yielding any results due to obvious reasons. She said activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan had strongly opposed the Narmade Seva Yatra which she said was a gimmick but she also expressed surprise over the silence by the opposition party in the state. She said the Yamuna lost its very existence due to illegal mining and pollution and now Narmada is also facing the same fate.