While a ministerial committee began hearing grievances of oustees of the Omkareshwar dam in Madhya Pradesh,Narmada Bachao Andolan activists met President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.
The state government had constituted a five-member panel after reducing water level at the Omkareshwar dam to 189 m which ended an NBA-led agitation in Khandwa on
Monday. More than 100 oustees from 15 of the 31 projected villages met the committee at Omkareshwar on Thursday but the exercise remained inconclusive because oustees had failed to carry documentary proof with them. The panel will hold its next meeting on September 27 after giving the oustees 14 days to submit proof along with their applications for land as compensation.
A special cell was set up at the local Tehsil office where oustees will be able to submit their applications and get a receipt. The applications will be forwarded to the project authority and the ministerial committee will take a call on them on September 27.
Industry Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya said though the panel was set up with a mandate to settle grievances of only those affected by the Omkareshwar dam,it will also hear complaints from those affected by the Indira Sagar dam.
NBA has claimed that the Supreme Court order in May 2011 stipulating land for land allotment to those affected by the Omkareshwar dam also applies to the Indira Sagar dam.
NBA activist Alok Agrawal claimed as many as 25,000 more oustees of the Indira Sagar were eligible for land as compensation while the MP government dismissed the claim saying all the affected had been resettled. However,after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhans orders,the ministerial panel expanded its mandate to hear these grievances as well.
Accompanied by CPM Politburo member Brinda Karat,NBA activist Chittaroopa Palit,who had led the Jal Satyagraha in Khandwa and Harda,met Mukherjee and apprised him of the recent developments in the Narmada valley.