Gujarat gets approval to raise Narmada dam height, Medha Patkar upset

After eight years, Gujarat got final approval to raise by about 17 metres the height of Sardar Sarovar dam.

By: Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad/new Delhi | Published:June 12, 2014 7:21 pm
patel “Heartfelt gratitude from the people of Gujarat to Hon PM Narendra Modi. The decision pending has come so swiftly. Achchhe din aa Gaye hain!!,” said Anandiben Patel in a tweet.

After a wait of eight long years, the Gujarat government on Thursday got final approval to raise by about 17 metres the height of Sardar Sarovar dam — the country’s most controversial dam project — in a big boost to the state which often faces water woes due to deficient rains.

The announcement of the final clearance by the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) for raising the dam height to 138.72 metres was made by Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, days after her predecessor Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister. The current dam height is 121.92 metres.

“The Narmada Control Authority (NCA) has given the approval to raise the height of the dam to 138 metres,” a visibly happy Patel said in Junagadh, adding it is a “historic day” for Gujarat.

“Heartfelt gratitude from the people of Gujarat to Hon PM Narendra Modi. The decision pending has come so swiftly. Achchhe din aa Gaye hain!!,” she said in a tweet.

“At Junagadh right now… Leaving for Narmada dam site at Kevadia. Not a single day should be lost in resuming work,” she further tweeted.

The decision to raise the height of the dam came after eight years.

As the Gujarat government hailed the decision, social activist Medha Patkar, who heads the Narmada Bachao Andolan, cried foul and said it was not taken in a democratic manner.

“The government has neither given us any hearing nor has it taken any time nor made any attempt to know the ground reality, before deciding to go forward with Sardar Sarovar Dam construction to its final height,” she said.

“Can the height be raised in violation of law?” she asked.

“The decision has not been taken in a democratic manner. The government has not consulted the ministries concerned,” Patkar told reporters in Mumbai.

In New Delhi, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said the decision to raise the height of Narmada dam was taken
based on the report of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on the rehabilitation of displaced people.

“Social Justice Ministry has given its report and they are 100 percent satisfied…. All the responsibilities they have to commit they have done. They have full satisfactory report in this meeting today. That is why the decision was taken by the Water Resources Secretary,” Bharti said.

She also said that the four States, which are concerned over the issue, were consulted over the issue.

The foundation stone of the dam was laid by country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on April 5, 1961. The project, however, got embroiled in controversy over issues of displacement of thousands of project-affected people.

However, the Supreme Court had earlier given the approval for the project to raise the height of the dam to 138.72 metres.

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    Anonymous
    Jun 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm
    Medha meant nobody had consulted her. That is her version of democracy. SC judges please note!!
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      Anil Tandale
      Jun 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm
      Whether the Central Government should disobey the directive of the Supreme Court to appease these interlopers masquerading as NGOs? Governance cannot be held hostage to Medha Patkar (whom people of Mumbai consigned to dustbin) or the likes of Teesta Setalvad.
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        arvind
        Jun 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm
        Medha patkar is a professional black mailer. When in Maharashtra thousands of acres of Land of various Textiles Mills was converted into a commercial hub, she has never raised her voice, in Maharashtra while implementing New Mumbai Project, she never raised her voice, only in case where actual development is taking place she is objecting to it. Is Narmada water to be allowed to mix up with Sea as in the case of Bhima, Krishna & Godawari. As also Ganga and Yamuna? Which Government has undertaken rehabilitation projects in last 65 years? Will she tell even a single big Project where rehabilitation has taken place in India? Take examples of Major Steel Plants, Atomic Projects and Dams in various parts of India.
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          sekhars
          Jun 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm
          no surprises these social activist who on name of socialism trying to fail our country. They are the biggest traitor -enemy with in. Breaking India elements
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            avi
            Jun 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm
            So since no govt has rehabilitated ppl,this one too shouldn't do it...nice logic..God help this country..n i pray someday ur land is taken away n u r not rehabilitated..then we will speak..
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              vishwanath bhat
              Jun 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm
              Absolute truth, game up for these people, need to spread awareness about these people, who are the white collar terrorists.
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                Girish
                Jun 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm
                if rehabilitation has been properly done, what's Medha's problem?
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                  GG
                  Jun 12, 2014 at 7:22 pm
                  Displacement problems are exaggeratd. Majority of tribal people have accepted resettlement packages from the government, but Medha Patkar and her NGO and AAP have vested interest to block the dam so they are interfering and not allowing the project to proceed.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Saran
                    Jun 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm
                    Supreme Court allowed, four states who are stakeholders agreed, central ministries have agreed, so what is the problem? Last government was listening to Ms Patkar for eight years, then what is she saying which has not finished yet?This dam began in 1961 and in 2014 , after 53 years remains incomplete because of this Jholawala tribe who has nothing else to do except putting a spanner in India's development wheelrade, Marx and Mao both are dead! So now wake up and smell the coffee.
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                      Manoj Manoj
                      Jun 12, 2014 at 3:53 pm
                      Medha Patkar's opinion is not important. However, we don't development at the cost of poor people. If government is not taking rehabilitation work, it is something to worry about.
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                        Janardhan Rao Maddu
                        Jun 13, 2014 at 8:44 am
                        No more patronage of people like PATKARS.
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                          RCA
                          Jun 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm
                          Democratic decisions does not mean endless postponement. When a party gets the democratic mandate of the people, they should be able to move quickly and decisively, and achieve progress. Otherwise, nothing will ever get done. I do hope that whoever is displaced by the project also get quick and humane compensation for resettlement etc...
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                            Suresh MB
                            Jun 13, 2014 at 9:27 am
                            We should take care of the affected people and rehabilitate them with all the facilities for lively hood . Medha and ilk like her want the people to suffer without electricity ,water and development and send the country on a reverse gear to the 17th century.
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                              Ramesh
                              Jun 13, 2014 at 8:26 am
                              Now Patkar with Arvind kejariwal & Co. should sit on fast unto death at Ram Lila Maidan. As they are born to serve people they should not worry about conequences of indefinite fast. In this way they will also realise who support thm , In India and out of India
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                                Rajesh
                                Jun 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm
                                Medha Patkar upset! Who cares? There is no place for antinational NGOs.
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                                  Shrikant
                                  Jun 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm
                                  I don't know if I should be happy or sad. With the rise in height, the water will now be available to parts of Gujarat, Rajasthan and MP where they had so much shortage, but it will also create displacement and housing problems for the tribal people.
                                  Reply
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                                    s n
                                    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:39 pm
                                    Medha Patkar should not talk about democracy. She lost her deposit in recent LS election and got less than 75,000 votes and BJP-SS candidate won by over 450,000 votes, i.e by a difference of more than 6 times votes Medha received. Her response was that EVMs were wrong. Net, people have voted AGAINST her.Medha Patkar represents narrow interests and may also represent foreign interests which want to prevent India from developing. i.e she is a puppet in hands of foreign agencies
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                                      Ragunathan
                                      Jun 13, 2014 at 12:26 am
                                      Guys , if you support Modiji as you did in last election, i am sure he will bring India to the top.This project has been stalled since 1951 by western power with the help of local anti national activists..
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