Thousands of people displaced by the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dam projects in Madhya Pradesh took to the streets here on Wednesday protesting against “government apathy” towards their rehabilitation and relief.
The protesters, waving blue flags and shouting slogans like “No dam without rehabilitation!” had gathered under the banner of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). Besides the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dam oustees, many others affected by the Maheshwar, Upper Beda, Maan, Sardar Sarovar, Tawa and Bargi dams also joined the demonstration, alleging large-scale corruption in the Harda area of the Indira Sagar dam and siphoning off of rehabilitation grants from hundreds of personal savings accounts in post offices and banks.
They also alleged that Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation (NHDC) officials erased the water level marks at the Indira Sagar dam last month so that the correct water level of the dam could no longer be ascertained.
“There is no rule of law for the peasants and other poor people displaced by the dams. Despite two High Court orders instructing the Government to provide land to adult sons and adult unmarried daughters of the affected families, the Government is yet to comply,” said an NBA activist, Chittaroopa Palit.