Even as the official-level Narmada Control Authority (NCA) asserted that all project-affected families facing displacement at the present height of the Narmada dam had been “resettled,” several people still living in the submergence villages arrived here on Tuesday from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat seeking a hearing from the Central government.
The oustees, many of who are struggling for the last 29 years, >said the NCA on June 12 gave the permission to raise the height of the dam to the final height of 138.68 metres based on the claims made by the State governments without independently verifying the status.
“We want to know what is the legal basis for giving the permission to raise the height ignoring the claims of displaced people in the affected States, including 245 villages in Madhya Pradesh alone?” asked the project-affected people who are on protest at Jantar Mantar here.
It is learnt that the NCA, in its emergency meeting, said the permission to raise the height of the dam will would only allow completion of civil works and leave the gates open on raised position.
Official figures say that of the 46,749 project-affected families from the Narmada dam, 46,498 have been resettled. Of these 4,765 have been resettled in Gujarat and 3,976 families displaced in Maharashtra have been settled in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Of the 37,757 families displaced in Madhya Pradesh, 32,233 have been resettled in the State itself and 5,524 in Gujarat.
Questioning the decision to allow raising the height of the dam, the Narmada Bachao Andolan asked whether this was done to derail the judicial inquiry into the Rs.1000-crore resettlement scam in Madhya Pradesh?