BHOPAL: Three days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the families displaced by the dam in Madhya Pradesh protested on Thursday by shaving off their heads.
At least 30 representatives of displaced families from submergence zone of the dam on the banks of river Narmada in Barwani and Dhar districts were part of the Chunauti Dharna (challenge demonstration) at the Neelam Park in Bhopal.
The protesters led by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar said the inhabitants of Narmada valley and their supporters would continue to challenge the unjustified submergence. The protesters alleged that on Wednesday night in Nisarpur village of Barwani, the shivling of a Shiva temple at the banks Narmada tributary Uri-Baghni, was uprooted by force despite the opposition of the people of Narmada valley.
Moreover, they said, the rehabilitation sites were not equipped with adequate water, house plots were not properly demarcated, and it lacked roads and basic amenities. So, thousands of families were still in the villages, the protesters alleged.
On return from Bhopal, the dam-displaced families will gather on Friday at Chota Barda village (near Anjad) in Barwani district, where many places of worship are in the submergence area — a point which hasn’t been acknowledged in government reports.
Earlier, on Wednesday evening the affected people from Dhar and Barwani districts had staged a ‘Chetavani Rally’ outside the office of the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) in Bhopal.