The Supreme Court gives its go-ahead for work on the Narmada dam
The Supreme Court ruling to allow the construction of the controversial Sardar Sarovar Dam at the Narmada river has come as severe jolt to anti-dam activists.
On February 17, in an interim order, the bench comprising Chief Justice A S Anand, Justice B N Kirpal and Justice S P Bharucha, also permitted the Gujarat government to raise the height of the dam from 80.3 metres to 85 metres (excluding the hump which is to be constructed for the safety of the dam). The interim order was passed almost after the five years when in June 1995, the apex court ordered to stop the construction of the dam. "The decision will send a wrong signal to the people who are fighting against the dam," said Medha Patekar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan, which is fighting against the dam. "The raising of the height is going to affect more people, adds Prashant Bhushan, a Supreme Court lawyer. The Grievance Redressal Authority, headed by P D Desai, which was recently constituted by the Gujarat government, has been asked to conduct a survey of the rehabilitation work at 61 sites and submit an interim report by April 9.
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