Medha Patkar urges Gujarat to open Sardar Sarovar gates – ToI 25.8.19


Medha Patkar urges Gujarat to open Sardar Sarovar gates

TNN | Aug 25, 2019, 04.16 AM IST
Medha Patkar urges Gujarat to open Sardar Sarovar gates
Bhopal: Environmental activist organisation Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has urged the Madhya Pradesh government to ask Gujarat to open the Sardar Sarovar dam gates to avoid “historical submergence witnessed by the people of Narmada valley”. The NBA also made the similar request to the Gujarat government.
After installing the gates on Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river in 2017, Gujarat has not filled the dam to its optimum level of 138.68 meters. After good rainfall this year, Gujarat insisted on complete filling of the dam. However, its backwater is submerging large areas in MP.After Gujarat decided to shut the dam gates and water rose to 133 meters, thousands of tribals, farmers and others in MP are facing submergence. Large number of houses, temples, mosques and government offices among other areas in the Narmada valley are facing deluge.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, NBA activist and Magsaysay recipient Medha Patkar urged chief minister Kamal Nath to “stop the injustice being done to the people of Madhya Pradesh”. She said that MP should ensure in any case that the water level should not rise above 122 meters.

Quoting MP government figures, Patkar said that in May this year the MP chief secretary had written to the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) saying 6,000 families were still living in 76 villages of the submergence area. She said that the chief secretary’s letter also referred to 8,500 applications.

“But according to our estimates, about 32,000 families are still living in the submergence area. These families cannot be murdered,” Patkar alleged.

She added said that the people who are yet to be rehabilitated will launch another ‘struggle’ from Sunday.


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