Updated: June 23, 2018 5:01:33 am
Social activist and founder of Narmada Bachao Aandolan Medha Patkar on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that Gujarat water issue will resolved with the inauguration of the Sardar Sarovar Dam has “fallen flat in three months”.
“Modi had claimed that Gujarat water issue has ended. This claim has fallen flat in just three months as the river has dried up and children have started playing cricket there. The industrialists have started taking control of the rivers in the country and the inter-linking of river project is a symbol of it. So, those investing in this project are more worried about their interests than the interests of the people or the farm sector,” alleged Patkar.
Patkar was speaking at a session on water conclave at the ‘Badlata Maharashtra’ event. The event is being organised by Marathi leading daily Loksatta (The Indian Express Group) in Mumbai.
“The water scarcity is not an issue limited to our state, but is a concern across the country. Participation of people is required for water management, instead of the public-private partnership,” Patkar said.
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She further said that due the construction of multiple dams in the Narmada river basin rivers have started drying up. “Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are facing serious impact. Whatever we have been saying is turning out to be true. The water issue is not limited to a river basin but the entire country is impacted. So, there is need to decentralize water and forests to increase people participation,” remarked Patkar.
Patkar claimed that there is a contrast between the government’s words and action when it comes to environment conservation and water management.
“Though it is claimed that drinking water is a priority, the industrialists have started taking control over the water for irrigation. The control over the rivers is being taken through the power and other projects. In the inter-linking of river project, the investors are concerned about their interests and profits. Everything will become a desert if people participation is not increased and powers are not decentralized,” she said.
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