Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and many Sardar Sarovar Dam oustees have once again launched an indefinite protest demanding relief. The protest that began on Saturday has continued after the state government failed to put on record any assurances to help the oustees by bringing pressure on the Gujarat government.
"We want the people in MP affected by Sardar Sarovar Dam built in Gujarat should be provided relief, and rehabilitated according to the book," Patkar said on Sunday evening. The protests would continue, the NBA said.
"Those ousted are living a miserable life. We will continue our protest till our demands are met. Hundreds of families have been ruined by the filling of Sardar Sarovar Dam in the catchment area of the reservoir in Madhya Pradesh," she said.
Most protesters spent the chill dewy Saturday night under the sky, wrapping themselves up with blankets, making a poignant sight.
The previous BJP government had, on oath, presented a misleading picture of rehabilitation efforts before the Supreme Court to help Gujarat government to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam reservoir, Patkar said, adding that the fate of 32,000 families in Madhya Pradesh has been hanging in balance due to previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan government's deceit and Gujarat government's "insensitivity".
A much larger area than projected in the MP government's plans has come under submergence. As a result, the areas marked for rehabilitation have also been inundated, ruling out resettlement of the project-affected people.
The Kamal Nath government had in September agreed to review the rehabilitation issue afresh as the pre-condition for the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Patkar to end her indefinite fast. Patkar, who had ended her fast on September 3, held talks with the state government and secured assurances for early resolutions to the issue. Things have, however, not gone according to the activists' understanding with the government.