The Indian Express, May 30 2017, New Delhi: The Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan has approached President Pranab Mukherjee seeking rehabilitation of those affected by the Sardar Sarovar project in Madhya Pradesh in line with a Supreme Court order.

The Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan (BAA) is an umbrella body of various organisations working on issues relating to land acquisition. The delegation comprising BAA leaders including former Lok Sabha MP Hannan Mollah met Mukherjee yesterday and accused the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government of “forcibly” trying to evict people living in the dam area before July 31.

The delegation requested the president to direct the state government to provide alternative livelihood, respect the rights of fish workers on reservoir among others. “We urged the president to direct the Shivraj Chouhan-led government to re-survey the affected people and give priority to rehabilitation of all families first following the SC order,” Mollah told reporters here.

The apex court had on February 8 cleared the decks for monetary compensation for the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar project by ordering Rs 60 lakh for each of the families which are likely to be displaced.

The delegation also demanded the state government to seek advice from gram sabhas in line with section 4 of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) (PESA) Act, 1996 to take their consent on the issue of rehabilitation sites.

The BAA leaders also asked the president to direct the government to form a committee to assess the impact on environment, river and forest by submergence and also the impact in Narmada’s downstream. According to the advocates of Narmada Bachao Andolan, 192 villages and one township would be affected by the project in Madhya Pradesh alone, and that about 45,000 affected people are yet to be rehabilitated.