Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar ended her fast late on Monday after the Madhya Pradesh government sent former Chief Secretary S C Behar to inform her about the steps being taken by the Congress-led state government.
Patkar had begun her fast at a village on the banks of the Narmada in Badwani district on August 25 to protest the decision to fill Sardar Sarovar Dam up to a level of 138.68 metres. She contends that 192 villages, which are yet to be rehabilitated, and one town will be submerged at that level, affecting 32,000 families.
She is expected to go to Bhopal on September 9 and hold a meeting with officials of the Narmada Valley Development Authority. If dissatisfied with the outcome, she will take a call on resuming her dharna in the state capital, it was informed.
Earlier on Monday, Chief Minister Kamal Nath said that his government is in constant touch with the NBA to know and solve grievances of the affected people. He said the Sardar Sarovar Project is an inter-state scheme and no single state can take a unilateral decision.
The NBA has urged the MP government to force Gujarat government and the Centre to reduce the water level and complete rehabilitation. State Home Minister Bala Bachchan had visited the protest site a few days ago to request Patkar and others to call off their agitation, but they did not budge.
Nath said his government has issued orders to district collectors to reexamine the previously rejected claims about resettlement and rehabilitation, and that the government found 115 families eligible for Rs 60 lakh compensation each. MP, he said, is still waiting for the money from Gujarat.
Accusing the Narmada Control Authority (NCA) of not being impartial, Nath said MP is opposing Gujarat’s decision to store water. He said an official letter was sent to the NCA on May 27 demanding a meeting to discuss the schedule to fill water in the dam but the Authority did not take it seriously.
Nath also said camps will be organised in villages of the Narmada valley to examine resettlement and rehabilitation claims of the affected.