Dam Oustees Continue to Brave Rising Waters

House at 189 metres height submerges at water level of 185 metres.

Affected people of Gunjari continue to brave rising waters.

One more Adivasi phaliya (mohalla) in danger.

Indefinite Hunger Strike continues for the 11th day.

An affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court by NHDC and the MP state government was proven false today when a house in Gunjari village, that was not to be submerged even at water level of 189 metres, was submerged at the present water level of 185 metres. It is to be noted that the state government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court as well as the High Court stating that 22 houses of Gunjari would not be affected even when the water level in the Omkareshwar dam reservoir rises to a crest level of 189 metres. But today as the water rose to 185 metres it entered the house. The affected people of Gunjari village, including 17 women and 10 men are braving the rising waters in the affected house of Shri Radhelal.

One more Adivasi phaliya (mohalla) is also facing threat due to the rising waters of the Omkareshwar dam. 115 families reside in this Jiroth Phaliya of village Kelva Bujurg. The waters have reached their houses. The road connecting this village to Goghalgaon and Kelva has come under water. Only one very long route to this village is still functional. Due to the closure of the main roads, the food rations of these families have run out. Most of the lands belonging to these families have been submerged without any compensation. A few days earlier they were given the compensation for their houses and since then no grant or rehabilitation has been given. The government is not paying any attention to the plight of these villagers. Therefore, even though the main roads have been deluged, no ferry system or boat facilities have been provided.

The indefinite hunger strike of the 5 people at the dharna site of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dam affected people in Khnadwa has reached its 11th day today. It was also the second day of the three-day hunger strike by 40 other affected people – the third batch of its kind. A large number of people from the dharna gheraoed the City Kotwali from 11.00 pm to 6.00 am and protested against the false affidavits submitted by the state government which allowed the closure of the sluice and radial gates of the dam and brought about the submergence. They also demanded a stop to the further filling of water in the Omkareshwar dam reservoir.

On the 13th day of the indefinite dharna, hundreds of people from the Adivasi Ekta Sangathan, Shramik Adivasi Sangathan and Samajwadi Jan Parishad joined the dharna in solidarity.
Alok Agrawal
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