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Dam-affected villagers protest – Jal Satyagraha

Villagers with Narmada Bachao Andolan and Aam Aadmi Party activists standing in waist-deep water on the second day of their ‘Jal Satyagraha’ in Gogalgaon in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.- Photo: PTI

Villagers with Narmada Bachao Andolan and Aam Aadmi Party activists standing in waist-deep water on the second day of their ‘Jal Satyagraha’ in Gogalgaon in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh on Sunday.- Photo: PTI

A group of 50 people in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district have launched a ‘Jal Satyagrah’ or protest in water to oppose the government’s decision to raise the water level in Omkareshwar dam on Narmada river.

The protest is being staged under the Narmada Bachao movement to oppose the government’s move to raise the water level in the dam to 191 metres from 189 metres.

Alleging that the government’s step has led to the dam-reservoir’s water reaching a number of villages and contiguous houses, this group of villagers has been staging its protest by remaining in the standing position in the Narmada river since Saturday.

District official M.K. Agarwal said that on Sunday that the water has been filled up to 191 metres so that it reaches the farmers through Khargon and Badwani rivulets and helps in irrigating some 60,000 hectares of land.

“The affected people have been compensated and reimbursed for their rehabilitation. No one has been affected, some people are staging the protest for no reason,” he added.

However, Alok Agarwal of the Narmada Bachao movement said the State government has not complied with the rehabilitation policy and the affected people have not been reimbursed as per the Supreme Court’s directives. The protest is being staged for this reason, he said. – IANS

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