news Monday, April 27, 2015 - 05:30
More than two weeks since 51 protestors in Madhya Pradesh have immersed themselves in water demanding compensation and rehabilitation for villagers displaced due to the Omkareshwar Dam, the state government continues to turn a blind eye to their requests. The protestors in Khandwa in MP, who have been standing in a water body for 17 days, say that the government should not raise the level of water in the reservoir till their demands are met. Their homes will be lost in the floods following the raise in water levels. "Till the time water level comes down to 189 and as per court orders, we get the 5 acre land, and labourers get Rs. 2.5 lakh. Till that time even if we die, we will sit here," said one of the protesters, as reported by NDTV. The Jal Satyagraha, which is ‘holding on to truth by water’, has lead dwindling health conditions of the protestors, and yet no medical help has been provided to the protesters. An increase in the level of water in the Narmada River was reported and the consequences have been seen in the surrounding villages where crops were destroyed. The state government refuses to budge. The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused the protestors of being ‘anti-development’. No official from the local administration has visited the location of the protest. Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activist and AAP’s Madhya Pradesh convener, Alok Agarwal has led the Jal Satyagraha. Speaking to The News Minute, the convenor of NBA Medha Patkar said, “At least in the struggle over the Sardar Sarovar Dam, some families got land as compensation. But here even that has not happened. We are not satisfied with the response of the state government at all.” Chouhan told the Indian Express that only 213 families rejected the rehabilitation packages as compared to thousands of families that accepted it. He even claimed that no new house would be submerged if the reservoir level was raised to 191 metres.  
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.