The Times Of India, June 22 2017, Bhopal: With thousands of affected families of Sardar Sarovar project receiving notice to vacate their houses by July 15, tension is brewing in Narmada valley. Despite presence of huge police force in the area, situation may reach boiling point because people, who are yet to be rehabilitated, are angry at the government’s apathy.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan said that 28 gates of the dam have been closed down and thousands of people are still waiting for rehabilitation. Patkar ,who has been relentlessly raising the issue for the past few decades, asked: “Why is the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan silent over the issue. We have been trying to have a dialogue with him for the past 13 years but in vain.”

Patkar said, “The situation is volatile as people have decided to drown themselves rather than leave the valley. The government will have to use force to evict them”. Referring to the closure of 28 gates of the project, Medha said, “The work of relief and rehabilitation is far from complete . Villagers, farmers and labourers cannot shift to new sites where there is no agricultural land but merely house plots.”
In Mandsaur, farmers were shot dead by police, while in four districts of Dhar, Barwani , Khargone and Alirajpur they would be drowned by the government in the waters of Sardar Sarovar Dam project, she alleged. She said that there are at least 40,000 families in the area who are likely to get submerged, but the state government has played a game of back water levels. She warned that the submergence of habitats, farms, cultural-religious sites and millions of trees will take place in the area. “The decision to close gates is totally illegal and inhuman”, she said.