Narmada dam: NBA cries foul over NCA move

The Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) on Saturday cried foul over the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) moving the Supreme Court to get transferred its case in the Jabalpur High Court challenging the >decision to raise the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam in Gujarat to the final level of 138.7 metres from the present 121.9 metres.

The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice T.S. Thakur declined NCA’s plea and sought to know why it should be done. The judges also asked questions about resettlement and rehabilitation the dam displaced people in the concerned states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. No displacement is envisaged in Rajasthan. 

Medha Patker-led NBA has not only challenged the NCA’s June 12 decision but is also before the Jabalpur High Court in an ongoing matter on corruption and fake registrations in allotment of land to displaced people in Madhya Pradesh.

On NBA’s plea the Jabalpur court had appointed Justice S.H. Jha Commission in 2008, which is looking into the charges of fake registrations done in the name of oustees. According to the NBA, there are about 3000 cases of registrations done on paper without land being allotted to displaced people in Madhya Pradesh.

NBA’s Madhuresh said the Commission had recently asked the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal and IIT, Mumbai, to look into the actual situation on the ground. 

Appearing personally Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court on Thursday that the NBA has sought to put on hold NCA’s decision on raising the dam height of the multi-state Sardar Sarovar (or Narmada) dam under construction in Gujarat. The other states involved in the project are Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.    

Sources in the NCA told The Hindu that the Authority had approached the highest court as it was monitoring the situation. The official-level body is headed by Water Resources Secretary.

The NBA decried the move saying that even at the present height of the dam lakhs of people living in hundreds of villages will face submergence.

Various court orders and the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal award say that oustees have to be resettled at least six months in advance of raising the height of the dam. 

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 9:52:47 AM |

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