A group of farmers near Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, who were protesting by standing in waist-deep waters of the Narmada river for 32 days seeking rehabilitation after being displaced by construction of the Omkareshwar Dam, called off their Jal Satyagraha on Wednesday, sources in the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) said.
“We have called off our agitation for two months to give time to the Madhya Pradesh government to rehabilitate the Omkareshwar Dam oustees. Yesterday, a top MP state government official asked us to call off our agitation and sought time to provide succour to the oustees, who were standing in the water,” NBA leader and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state convenor Alok Agrawal said.
Agarwal said the ousted farmers have called off their stir for two months. “If the government doesn’t provide them relief (land against their submerged land), they will stage a massive agitation,” he said.
The Jal Satyagrahis had called off their agitation after the advice of senior AAP leader and spokesman Sanjay Singh, who visited them on Monday. He had advised them to end their agitation since the health of some of them had deteriorated, Agarwal said.
The Jal Satyagraha began after the government raised the water level of the Omkareshwar Dam from 189 metres to 191 metres, which multiplied the troubles of the affected people as their places got submerged in water, Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen ambulances reached Ghogalgaon village to treat over 70 Jal Satyagrahis who have developed skin disorders and other ailments, NBA sources said.
The Omkareshwar Dam was constructed to generate hydel power and irrigate the Khandwa region.