BHOPAL: A four-member team representing the Madhya Pradesh government held parleys with fasting Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar for over four hours in Chikilda village of Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.
The talks, however, failed to make any breakthrough as Patkar and 11 others declined to end their indefinite fast on the tenth day despite doctors raising concerns about their health.
A team comprising senior IAS officer from Bhopal, Chandrashekhar Borkar, Indore divisional commissioner Sanjay Dube and additional DG of police Ajay Sharma, besides spiritual leader Bhaiyyu Maharaj failed to break the ice with the fasting NBA founder and 11 other activists. The 12 activists have been on indefinite fast as a protest against the decision to raise Sardar Sarovar Project in Gujarat to full height and consequent closing of dam’s sluice gates.
The activists led by Patkar have been demanding proper and 100 per cent rehabilitation of the families getting displaced by the dam slated to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 12 in Gujarat.
Patkar told them the woeful state of basic facilities at the rehabilitation centers. She claimed that brokers, who were active in the affected villages, were demanding up to Rs 15 lakh as a commission for getting the Rs 60 lakh government compensation package to each of the displaced family.
While maintaining that “we’ll prefer to die rather than leaving the villages,” she asked MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to come and hold constructive talks with them.
The spiritual guru Bhaiyyu Maharaj, who played a major role in holding the four-hour long talks on Saturday in Chikilda village advocated for forming a high-level committee having the representation of all stakeholders to thrash out a solution to the vexed issue via dialogue.