PTI, NEW DELHI, MAY 17, 2006
Tribals from the Narmada Valley today knocked the doors of the Rashtrapathi Bhawan seeking steps to save their villages from submergence once the height of Sardar Sarovar dam is raised.
A delegation of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) led by Medha Patkar met President A P J Abdul Kalam and urged him to impress upon the Government to suspend all construction activities in the valley till total rehabilitation of dam oustees was completed.
They also requested the President to ask the Oversight Committee, which oversees the rehabilitation process in Madhya Pradesh, to extend its purview to other affected states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
“We have told him that this is our last memorandum on the issue and the last time that we are meeting him. We urged him to intervene to stall the unconstitutional construction in the name of development,” Patkar told reporters here.
The NBA has intensified its agitation for rehabilitation of villagers in the valley after the Narmada Review Committee in March decided to raise the height of the dam to 121.92 metres from 110 metres.
She said villages in the valley would submerge before the Oversight Committee submitted its findings.
Earlier in the day, Patkar and tribal representatives met members of the Oversight Committee and asked them to include the rehabilitation process of Maharashtra and Gujarat in its purview.