Bhopal, Sept. 14 -- The high-level committee of the government, headed by commerce and industries minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, heard problems of Omkareshwar Project-affected persons on Thursday at Omkareshwar.
Later talking to the media, the minister said dialogue had been initiated with the affected people of Omkareshwar Project and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would take the final decision.
The committee heard problems of people from 15 out of the 31 affected villages and elicited information from them. Activists of NBA also led an 11-member team that put forward the grievances and demands of the displaced people before the committee.
The NBA and the displaced people demanded irrigated and fertile land for the land acquired for the project and the landless people be given a grant of Rs. 2.5 lakh. The issues and problems related to Indira Sagar Dam were also placed before the committee.
It was decided that the next meeting of the committee would be held on September 27, before which the displaced people would place their grievances and problems in writing before the committee. A special cell has been set up for receiving the applications. The applications would be sent for review to the office of Omkareshwar Project and disposal would be discussed during the meeting on September 27.
Protests in Harda
Under the banner of Samjavadi Jan Parisahd and Shramik Adivasi Jan Sangathan, tribal people took out a silent rally against the repressive action of the police on the peaceful protest of the displaced people at Harda district headquarters. They handed over a memorandum of protest addressed to the CM to the district collector. Meanwhile, a team of the India Against Corruption and former Team Anna including Sanjay Singh, Ilyas Azmi and former state president of Kisan Sangh Shivkumar Sharma reached Khardana, met the people and heard their problems.
Speaking to HT, Sanjay Singh, while vowing to support the agitation of the dam-affected people, said senior BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani should come to Khardana and see how emergency like situation exists there in the rule of BJP government. He said that complaints on the repression of the protestors would be taken up at appropriate forums in Delhi.
Protests in Bhopal: At the same time, different groups in Bhopal also registered their protest by storming the NVDA office, shouting slogans and burning an effigy outside the office gates. They too were protesting against the police crackdown on the protestors in Khardana and also the attempt of the NVDA to deprive people of their rights by bringing on illegal submergence.
The local unit of NSUI held a demonstration by sitting in water at Sheetaldas ki Bagia on Upper Lake to protest the police crackdown on the Khardana protestors. (Subhead) Forest dept removes shanties of affected people
The forest department on Thursday razed the shanties put up by the villagers of Kalisaray and surrounding settlements on forestland in Handia range of Harda. These people, whose villages have been submerged by the Indira Sagar Project backwaters, put up the shanties as alternative as they did not want to go to the temporary camps set up by district administration in other villages. The district collector Sudam Khande told HT that arrangements for camps have been made for the affected people and the administration would try to convince them to move to the camps. Sub-divisional officer of Handia Forest Range, RB Siddh said that the shanties were removed because they were encroachments.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.