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Sunday, September 16, 2012

...Thus ended the Jal Satyagraha

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After the Madhya Pradesh Government decided to accept demands of oustees of the Omkareshwar Dam Project and to constitute a ministerial committee to look into their grievances, Jal Satyagraha was called off on September 10th, 2012.

For over two weeks, dam affected people of the Omkareshwar project (Khandwa) and of the Indira Sagar project (Harda) had been offering jal satyagraha by standing in neck deep water, demanding proper rehabilitation, compensation and a reduction in the level of dam waters.

The Satyagraha was called off when on the seventeenth day of the protest, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chawhan announced that the government agreed to two major demands- one, to reduce the water level of the dam to 189 m and to provide land for land compensation to all those who had lost their land. Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, after holding a direct talk with the affected farmers reportedly told them that compliance with the order given by the Grievances Redressal Authority about giving land for land surrendering 50% compensation would be ensured within 90 days.

A high level committee to hear problems of the Omkareshwar dam was to be formed. It is important to take a reminder that 51 oustees stood in waist to neck deep water for the lost 16 days for their demands. They broke their Jal Satyagraha after acceptance by the minister.

The high level committee formed by the government to hear the problem of Jal Satyagrahis would comprise Commerce and Industries Minister Kailash Vijaivargiya, ST and SC welfare minister Kunwar Vijai Shah, Minister for State for Narmada Valley Development, Rajnis Vaish, and Indore Divisional Commissioner.

The NBA leader Alok Agrawal has reportedly told the public that the site of Jal Satyagraha would be commemorated as Bhoo Adhikar Sthal (Land Rights Memorial) and would be a centre for future struggles.
Key Words: Jal Satyagraha, land, Madhya Pradesh, dam,

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