After the water level was raised, agricultural land in several villages around Ghogalgaon has been submerged under water. If the level is raised further, even homes would go under water, say protestors. According to the Supreme Court orders, the affected people need to be given not just compensation but land for land and other rehabilitation entitlements as per the state rehabilitation policy and this must be done six months prior to submergence Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
Waters of rising Omkareshwar reservoir were almost touching the chins of the protestors on September 3. The state government remained unmoved Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
The protestors at Ghoghalgaon sleep while supporting themselves with bamboos. The authorities have not reduced the water level in spite of the protests by the villagersPhoto courtesy: Delhi Forum
Women from neighbouring villages gather in Ghogalgaon at the beginning of the jal satyagrah. Villagers allege the state has failed to allot land to the affected landholding families numbering over 2,500. The state has not allotted housing plots to 1,000 families; their claims are being processed by the Greivance Redressal Authority (GRA). Residents have not received various other entitlements either. On the other hand, Narmada Hydropower Development Corporation (NHDC), a subsidiary of NHPC, has earned profits up to Rs 2,500 crore from power generation Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
People protest outside Madhya Pradesh Bhawan in Delhi to show solidarity with the jal satyagrahis. On September 15, Narmada Bachao Andolan will organize a land rights conference at Khandwa of Madhya Pradesh. The meet is to decide on further measures to ensure implementation of the land rights of the dam oustees. This conference will be attended by the oustees of the Indira Sagar, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar, Man and Upper Beda dams Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
A woman of Ghoghalgaon village rests by holding on to a bamboo support
Protesters say they will not turn back unless all their demands are met. They want the water level to be restored to 189 metre and are demanding compensation as provided in the state's rehabilitation policy Photo courtesy: Narmada Bachao Andolan
The jal satyagraha by Omkareshwar dam oustees in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh entered its 14th day on September 7. Fifty men and women, including elderly people, are sitting continuously in neck-deep water in the submergence area of the dam reservoir in village Ghogalgaon. They are protesting the denial of rehabilitation rights and violation of Supreme Court orders. In spite of the fact that of the oustees have not been rehabilitated, the government decided to increase the water level of the dam reservoir in the Narmada from 189 metre to 191 metre. People of Ghoghalgaon have been protesting the decicion since July 15 Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
Blisters have developed in the feet of the protestors Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
Water reservoir level rises to dangerous levelsPhoto courtesy: Narmada Bachao Andolan
Women jal satyagrahis from Ghoghalgaon take rest in preparation for the protest the next day, while men keep vigil. Earlier, the Supreme ruled in the favour of the oustees and had directed the Grievance Redressal Authority to process the applications http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/omkareshwar-dam-land-compensation-rights-oustees-upheld ) of the oustees. Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists allege the decision to raise the reservoir level followed a clearance granted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which based its judgement on “false claims” submitted by the Madhya Pradesh government for both Omkareshwar and Indira Sagar dams. The state had claimed that raising the height of the reservoir would not affect people Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
The effects of the prolonged period spent in water Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
About 5,000 persons from 250 villages in various districts are now supporting the cause of the satyagrahis of Ghoghalgaon Photo courtesy: Delhi Forum
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.