Narmada dam affected people block road, demand land, jobs

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Ahmedabad | Published: August 21, 2016 11:03:22 PM

Hundreds of people affected by the Narmada dam project today blocked a road at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat, disrupting movement of traffic for nearly two hours.

It caused a huge traffic jam as hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying tourists, got stuck. The overflowing dam has become a tourist attraction on week-ends. (Express Photo)It caused a huge traffic jam as hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying tourists, got stuck. The overflowing dam has become a tourist attraction on week-ends. (Express Photo)

Hundreds of people affected by the Narmada dam project today blocked a road at Kevadia in Narmada district of Gujarat, disrupting movement of traffic for nearly two hours.

The protesters blocked the road leading to the dam at Wagharia village, 5 kms from the dam site, to press their 23-point demands.

It caused a huge traffic jam as hundreds of vehicles, including those carrying tourists, got stuck. The overflowing dam has become a tourist attraction on week-ends.

“The blockade continued for nearly two hours… Only after we told the protesters that the government has taken note of their demands, they relented,” Deputy Superintendent of Police R M Bhadoria said.

People from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra who were affected by the construction of Narmada dam have been demanding cultivable land, jobs and amenities such as water supply and roads in the colonies to where they were relocated.

“Among our demands are cultivable land against the land that was taken away from us… Several persons have not received the land as promised under the rehabilitation and resettlement package,” said Jikubhai Tadvi, who heads Narmada Asargrast Yuva Mandal.

“Living conditions in these colonies (for rehabilitated people) are very bad, with no proper water and road facilities. We demand improvement of living conditions,” he said.

People from over 200 such colonies from the three states have been camping at Kevadia for the last 36 days to press their demands. Tadvi said the agitation would continue until they receive a written assurance from the government.

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