New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday supported the oustees of the Narmada Valley Project and said it was inhuman and undemocratic to use police force to evict them before proper rehabilitation.
“Our Aam Aadmi Party MP Bhagwant Mann toured the region and found that over one lakh people are living in villages to be affected by the closure of Sardar Sarovar Dam’s sluices, but no arrangements have been made for their rehabilitation,” Kejriwal said.
“I strongly support the fight for rights of those being displaced in the Narmada Valley and appeal to the Centre to protect their rights, and our democracy, by stopping the Narmada waters from submerging the villages in the affected region,” he said.
The leader said that, legally speaking, the rehabilitation of the oustees must be ensured six months before the submergence of their villages and this has been stated even by the Supreme Court.
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and 11 others have been on fast in Chikhalda village in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh since July 27 to demand better rehabilitation of the families in the Narmada Valley who have been affected by the decision to increase the dam height.
As many as 40,000 families living in around 190 villages will be affected.
The Supreme Court had directed the rehabilitation of the affected persons by July 31, before the Gujarat government could be allowed to raise the dam’s height.
Kejriwal alleged police and bulldozers have been despatched in large numbers to the area and said the government is not reaching out to social activist Medha Patkar.
The Chief Minister, who is also convener of the AAP, demanded that the Centre engage in a constructive dialogue with the displaced people and ensure their complete rehabilitation.