Bhopal: Bowing before the villagers who have standing in neck-deep water for 17 days demanding reduction in the water level of the Omkareshwar dam, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday announced the reduction of the water level to 189 metres.
Addressing a press conference, the Madhya Pradesh CM said, “Taking into account of the present situation, the state government has decided to reduce the water level to 189 metres from the current 190.5 metres.”
Expressing concern on the adverse affect of the decision, Chouhan said, “Reducing the water level would affect the irrigation process and 20,000 hectares of land will not get water. Decreasing the water level will also lead to loss of 120 megawatt electricity.” The Omkareshwar dam is built across the Narmada River.
The Chief Minister also announced that the affected villagers will be given land-for-land within 90 days.
It has been decided that the villagers who will return 50 percent of the compensation allotted to them by the state government earlier will also be given land and rehabilitated.
He also said that some elements have been creating trouble for long in the name of dams and halting development projects.
The agitation, under the aegis of Narmada Bachao Andolan, had started a fortnight back.
Meanwhile, a central team of observers will today visit the site of Omkareshwar dam protests for a survey.
Villagers displaced by the dam have been protesting seeking rehabilitation and compensation.
However, there was no word from Chouhan regarding the Indira Sagar Dam, where also a group of villagers are protesting in neck-deep water over similar demands.