CV News/ Saturday, January 19, 2019
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) activists and representatives of the workers of Century Mills sat on a day long dharna in Khargone, outside the Century Mills, in support of Swami Atmabodhanand, who is on indefinite hunger strike since October 24, 2018 for ensuring free flow of Ganga river. Atmabodhanand is a disciple of Swami Gyanswaroop Sanand, who died on October last year following his 112 days’ hunger strike for the cause of Ganga.
In a letter to Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari following the dharna, the activists say, Ganga is one of the main rivers of the country on which dams have been built, thus creating hurdle in their free flow of water. Several major dams have been built on Ganga, and about 54 more have been proposed, out of which 24 dams have been stayed by the Supreme Court. If the remaining 30 major dams are built, Ganga will not survive.
As a result of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, the letter states, sea water has been gushing 70 km into the Narmada river, affecting the livelihood of of about 6,000 fishermen. If the Sardar Sarovar Dam is filled up to the full reservoir level, 35,000 families, still reside along the river’s banks, would be affected, as they have not been rehabilitated, and about 40,000 hectares of irrigated land would be submerged.