Bhopal: Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar on Wednesday said ensuring "inclusive development" in the Narmada valley would be a major challenge before the new government at the Centre.
"The new government has to ensure the rehabilitation of thousands of families with cultivable land and alternative livelihood and guarantee compliance on various environment safeguard measures," Patkar told reporters here.
"There is also a need to undertake a cost benefit review of various projects, both in Madhya Pradesh and also on inter-state projects such as Sardar Sarovar, which has implications on Maharashtra and Gujarat as well," she said.
"Ensuring inclusive development in the Narmada valley where the lives of lakhs of people are at stake would be a major challenge before the new government," the social activist said.
She also urged new Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, who has been keen on saving rivers, to consider conservation of life and environment in the Narmada valley as well, as she (Uma) too is a great devotee of river Narmada like river Ganga.
Medha also informed that a delegation of farmers affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) and also because of massive network of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar Projects canal network had a second round of detailed discussion with Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Antony DeSa on the orders of the High Court today on the issue.
The Chief Secretary assured that all their concerns including enlargement of siphons, pre-construction of breached canals, connecting canal water to natural drains and re-lining the canals wherever they are of poor quality, would be undertaken before June 30, she said.