India: Union Government vindicates the Narmada Bachao Andolan and brave leader Medha Patkar Print E-mail
Tuesday June 13 2006

Work on Narmada project suspended

DH News Service Bhopal:
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Read more: Requiem for a river

Damned: The price of `development' is the death of a river [PHOTO: PTI ]
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The Union Government has ordered immediate stoppage of work on the 400 MW Maheshwar hydel project on River Narmada in Madhya Pradesh. The directive says the construction work would resume only after the project promoters present a comprehensive rehabilitation plan for the project oustees and the Union environment ministry clears the plan.

Describing the Centre’s action as a “vindication of its stand”, a spokesperson for the Narmada Bachao Andolan said it would not allow the project to go ahead without ensuring that the one lakh-odd oustees received a just rehabilitation package. The NBA has been demanding scrapping of the Maheshwar project on the ground that it was technically unfeasible, financially unviable and environmentally disastrous.

The project, which was conceived in the late eighties was to be completed by 1995. It was the first hydel power project in the country to be handed over to the private sector.