Medha Patkar announces padyatra against Sardar Sarovar project

Asserting that the Sardar Sarovar Dam project in Gujarat has led to destruction of local economy and environment, social activist Medha Patkar on Tuesday announced that a week-long 'padyatra' from Narmada valley to Raj Ghat here will be launched on August 6.

New Delhi: Asserting that the Sardar Sarovar Dam project in Gujarat has led to destruction of local economy and environment, social activist Medha Patkar on Tuesday announced that a week-long 'padyatra' from Narmada valley to Raj Ghat here will be launched on August 6.

Patkar was addressing the gathering at a convention here on the eve of 30 years of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, a movement that was begun to protest the construction of the dam on Narmada river which displaced thousands of people.

The convention -- 'Struggle to save Narmada and its people: Challenges and way forward' -- was attended by several present and former MPs, retired judges, senior social activists, lawyers, artists, filmmakers, writers, technical experts, environmentalists and academicians.

They expressed their solidarity with adivasis, farmers, fisher people, landless and thousands of other Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) oustees, who have been challenging the project saying raise in the dam's height was in violation of the binding norms of the Narmada Tribunal and the judgments of the Supreme Court.

"Left party leaders, including D Raja, K Ragesh, A V Swamy and Hannan Mollah, extended their support saying their state and national units would mobilise political support for the cause, both inside and outside the Parliament," a press release said.

"Representatives from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, also spoke of their 30 years of struggle and the gradual disintegration of their culture because of displacement, lack of good land, poor state of resettlement sites and massive corruption among others," it added.

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