Congress leader Digvijay Singh today said nearly 18,000 families in Madhya Pradesh were displaced by the closure of gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat last month, but they have not been rehabilitated yet. “Nearly 18,000 families in Madhya Pradesh were displaced by (the closure of gates) of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in Gujarat. A Supreme Court order regarding the rehabilitation of dam oustees has not been followed,” the Congress general secretary told reporters here. He said the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh should hold talks with Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar about the rehabilitation issue.
“When I was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, I used to regularly talk to Medha Patkar over issues related to the dam oustees. But, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hasn’t held talks with Patkar yet,” he said. “After studying the plight of oustees, I am going to raise the issue in Parliament,” the Rajya Sabha member said. Thirty floodgates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam were closed last month, causing the water level to rise to 133 metres from 122 metres. While the move benefits Gujarat, the raised level in the reservoir has brought many villages in Madhya Pradesh in the submergence zone along the Narmada river. These villages are located in Alirajpur, Barwani, Dhar and Khargone districts.