Govt panel for stoppage of work on Sarovar Project: Patkar

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 00:26

New Delhi: Claiming that a Government-
appointed panel has recommended that no further construction
work on Sarovar Sardar Project should be permitted, social
activist Medha Patkar today demanded the Centre issue a `stop
work` notice to concerned agencies.

Patkar, who has been spearheading the agitation against
construction of the Narmada dam, said the Planning Commission
should review the project fully "since not only the approved
investment limit, but also the environmental conditions are
being flouted by the states".

"Investment clearence for the SSP was for Rs 6406 crore
in 1988 and today, the project cost is Rs 45,000 crore as per
the Report of the Working Group on Water Resources of the
Planning Commission and it will escalate up to Rs 70,000 crore
by 2012," she told reporters here.

Patkar claimed that the Devendra Pandey committee on
Narmada appointed by the Ministry of Environent and Forest
has recommended that no further construction work on Sarovar
Sardar Project should be permitted.

Copies of the `executive summary` of the report was also
distributed at the press conference.

"The Centre, the Environment Ministry should issue a stop
work notice to the concerned on the matter. The work should be
stopped," she said.

The activist also said the Madhya Pradesh Government had
no political will to punish officers and others involved in
"corruption worth a few hundred crore ruppees" in
rehabilitation of the people displaced due to the work.

She also charged the Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh
Governments were hell bent on erecting gates of 17-metre high.

"The demand that the Centre must fund the project with
thousands of crores or declare it as a `National Project`,
contrary to the stand of its own sanctioning and monitoring
authorities, is also indicative of Gujarat`s politics,
stinking of irrationality and immaturity, showing neither
prudence nor progressive outlook," she said.


First Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 00:26

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