Dam filled ‘before schedule’ so that Modi could celebrate b''day at site: MP minister

BHOPAL: MP minister Bala Bachchan claimed the Sardar Sarovar Dam was filled up to the full level “ahead of its schedule” to facilitate the PM''s birthday at the site.

Dam filled ‘before schedule’ so that Modi could celebrate b''day at site: MP minister

PM Narendra Modi. File photo

rchopra@tribunemail.com

Bhopal, September 17

Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Bala Bachchan on Tuesday claimed that the Sardar Sarovar Dam was filled up to the full reservoir level “ahead of its schedule” to facilitate celebration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday at the dam site.

He said this disturbed the relief and rehabilitation works under way in the Madhya Pradesh areas submerged under the dam water.

Modi, who turned 69 on Tuesday, arrived at Kevadiya in Gujarat in the morning to take part in the ‘Namami Narmada’ festival being celebrated by the western state’s government to mark the filling up of the Sardar Sarovar Dam to its full reservoir level of 138.68 metres.

Bachchan claimed that according to the Narmada Control Authority’s schedule, the dam was to be filled up to its full reservoir level by mid-October.

“However, it was filled to the full level nearly a month ahead of its schedule so that the Prime Minister could celebrate his birthday at the site,” he told reporters here.

This change of schedule had disturbed the relief and rehabilitation works under way in the areas submerged under the dam water in four districts of MP, he said.

“It would have been better if Modiji had paid attention to the Madhya Pradesh’s people affected due to the Sardar Sarovar Dam’s backwaters,” he said.

The Prime Minister should have sanctioned immediate relief to these people, he said, adding that the Centre earlier promised the state to ensure proper rehabilitation of the dam-affected people “but it was not yet fulfilled”.

Residents of nearly 178 villages in MP’s Barwani, Dhar, Alirajpur and Khargone districts were affected due to the dam’s backwaters, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar told PTI on Monday.

She said they would protest in Barwani during Modi’s birthday celebration.

The NBA is demanding that the gates of the dam, built on the Narmada river, be opened immediately given that its backwaters had partially or fully flooded 178 villages in Madhya Pradesh.

The floodgates of the dam were closed on June 17, 2017, 56 years after the foundation stone of the project was laid by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

For the first time since the height of the dam was raised in 2017, the water level reached its highest peak at 138.68 m on Sunday evening. PTI

Cities

View All

Ban on hookah bars goes up in smoke

Police, Excise officials seize hookahs from restaurants

Doctors complain of heavy workload at Civil Hospital

Say they perform additional duties due to shortage of medica...

Locust attacks reported from Bathinda villages

Agri Dept alert, constantly observing its movement, says ADO

Cops tighten noose around Chinese kite string sellers

The Chinese and zinc-coated thread is dangerous not only for...

Padma Shri for ‘Langar Baba’, PGI doc

Jagdish Lal feeding hungry for 20 yrs, sold property to run ...

Soon, 9,310 dark spots to illuminate

Work of installing LED lights to begin in month, contractor ...

Civic body staff say no to cheque, bills say otherwise

People visiting offices to pay bills by cheque a harried lot

Vendors can station carts at vending zone sites: Mayor

No fee for now, vendors identified during survey will be eli...

Stones of 2 foot overbridges laid

To come up at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, Kali Mata Mandir

R-Day: Education Minister to hoist National Flag today

School principals, teachers told to remain present at venue

Man held for illegal mining in SYL canal

Caught red-handed, another suspect to be nabbed soon, say co...