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Medha Patekar opposes raising height of Sardar Sarovar dam

Last Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 20:57

New Delhi: Social activist Medha Patkar led a demonstration at Jantar Mantar here protesting Gujarat government`s proposal to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar dam in the state.

Addressing the protesters, Patkar attacked Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for proposing to raise the height of the dam saying it will bring destruction in the Narmada valley.

"Modi`s claim that Maharashtra can get free electricity after raising the height of Sardar Sarovar dam is baseless. We have documents to prove him wrong," she said.

The activist claimed that raising the height of the dam as proposed will affect lives of more than 2.5 lakh farmers and adivasis in the Narmada valley and severely impact socio-economic and environmental interests of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

"When the expert committees of Ministry of Forest and Environment have exposed serious non-compliance on numerous environmental issues, when costs and benefits are in complete doldrums, when the present grievance redress authority of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have not consented to the increase in dam height, how and why should the height of Sardar Sarovar be increased further," Patkar said.

The social activist also criticised Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan government for the "shoddy" implementation of rehabilitation of the landless in Madhya Pradesh.

Delhi University teacher Manoranjan Mohanty, who also participated in the demonstration, alleged that Gujarat government has been seeking support for raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar dam on "false premises".

"The model of development proposed by Modi that robs the poor and feeds the rich is not what India wants. We need an approach that protects our agriculture and strengthens our forest cover," he said.

Some of the demonstrators also protested outside the Ministry of Water Resources under which the Narmada Control Authority functions.

First Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 20:57

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