M A I N   N E W S

NBA plans “pol-khol” campaign
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 18
The Narmada Bachao Andolan today said it will soon launch a “pol khol” campaign in the Narmada Valley to expose claims of rehabilitation by state governments and continue exerting pressure on the Centre to suspend work on raising height of the dam.

The NBA, which plans to make an appeal to the President before the next hearing in the Supreme Court on May 1, said that youth and students will form part of the campaign to expose the rehabilitation claims of governments and highlight the plight of tribals facing submergence of their lands.

NBA leader Medha Patkar said their concern was not only for project affected people in Narmada Valley but it was a “Desh Bachao” movement involving all those people who were facing displacement from their homes and livelihoods.

“When it is time to take decision, leaders appear weak. They appear strong when bulldozers work on jhuggis,” she said.

Emphasising an alternative model of development, she said the pol-khol (expose) of NBA will highlight how villagers had suffered even at the level of existing height of Sardar Sarovar dam. The campaign will include a pol-khol yatra and ‘Rally for Valley’ in which noted writer Arundhati Roy will participate.

Ms Patkar, who left for Narmada Valley today, said the UPA government had not taken a decision to stop the height of the dam being raised.

“A fearful situation faces us. We are worried...The cement that is being put to raise the height of the dam poses danger to the lives of the people,” she said.

The NBA leader said students in schools and colleges should come out to raise their voice in support of development that takes cares of the tribals and villagers. “Then the Prime Minister will be forced to listen,” she said.

Feeling pained at the vandalism at an NBA office in Gujarat, Ms Patkar said the issue was not only of fighting communalism but also for fighting wrong definition of development. She held both the BJP and Congress workers responsible for the vandalism.


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