Jal satyagraha enters 2nd day

Despite a crackdown on their jal satyagraha, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists are undeterred by the arrests of villagers in the Narmada ghatti.
Hundreds of displaced people in Malud village in Khandwa district have entered the water demanding proper rehabilitation including land for the loss of their fields, farms and homes.
Already, 63 jal satyagrahis were arrested and sent to jail from the village of Mel Pipaliya in Dewas district and 200 jal satyagrahis were arrested from village Bichola in Hard district.
Another 200 satyagrahis were arrested in village Mel Pipalya in Dewas district. Villagers living along the banks of the Indira Sagar are protesting against the raising of the water level of the dam above the 260 metre mark. On Sunday, the water level had crossed the 261.6 metre mark. The rising water of the dam and the heavy monsoon rain has resulted in the submergence of 1500 homes and the submergence of over 15,000 acres. If the level of the dam continues to rise, it will result in the submergence of even more villages.
In 2012 also, the protesters had resorted to this unique form of jal satyagraha.
But the state government chose to diffuse this form of unique protest by agreeing to keep the dam level at 189 metres and by paying a compensation of `212 crore to the dam evacuees. The protesters are demanding a similar package this year as well. Demonstration rallies in support of this protest were held in Mandleshwar and Omkareshwar.
The Indira Sagar dam which was completed in 2005 remains India’s largest reservoir containing 12.22 billion cubic metres of water. The dam feeds a 1000 MW power plant and irrigates 2.65 lakh hectares.

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