M A I N   N E W S

Medha Patkarís condition worsens
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 4
Efforts by the government to persuade Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar to break her fast having failed, her condition is stated to have worsened.
Ms Patkar continues her struggle against the plans of raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam and refused to break her fast even as Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz met her on the seventh day of the agitation today.

Ms Patkar is seeking the rehabilitation of all families displaced by the dam. Even the ministerís assurance that he would travel to the site to take stock of the demands did not appease her and two other activists who are on indefinite fast.

Meanwhile, a stream of visitors met her and expressed solidarity. These include former Prime Minister V. P. Singh, Arundhati Roy, Ms Mohini Giri, Mr Surendra Mohan and Kumudini Pati.

Yesterday, Ms Patkar rejected a glass of juice that the Prime Minister sent to her, saying that she would not compromise.

The Prime Minister had sent the Minister of State in his office, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, Mr Soz and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar to the dharna site yesterday.

The NBA has been staging protests here since March 17 against the decision of the Narmada Control Authority to raise the dam height. It says that nearly 35,000 families would lose their source of livelihood and homes due to the submergence in the damís waters once the decision is implemented.

The NBA says that the Sardar Sarovar Project has uprooted communities living in the Narmada valley for the past many centuries.

The UPAís Left allies have been supportive of Ms Patkarís struggle and are mounting pressure on the government to intervene in the matter. CPM Politburo member Brinda Karat and Central Committee member Subhashini Ali visited Ms Patkar yesterday.


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