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Medha Patkar resumes ‘andolan’ in Nashik
The Asian Age, 20 April 2015, Nashik: Social activist Medha Patkar has resumed her Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in Nashik to highlight the rehabilitation issue of tribal families displaced by the Narmada Project. Divisional revenue commissioner Eknath Dawale stated on Friday that the government has offered land in Gujarat and Maharashtra to the displaced families. The land would be shown to the families between April 27 and June 20. Ms Patkar objected to this proposal because sowing would commence in June and the families would not be free to see the land.
The government has proposed to give 661 hectares of land to the families displaced by the project. Out of the 661 hectares of land, 453 hectares will be given in Gujarat and 208 hectares will be provided in Maharashtra. However, NBA had complained that the land available was not at one place but was scattered in random plots, which would make it difficult for the people to be rehabilitated.
“Except for some families from Manibeli village, none of the displaced families want to relocate to Gujarat. They prefer Maharashtra to Gujarat. We want the government to give families of a particular village large enough plots to accommodate all of them together so that displaced villages remain intact in their new homes. The 661 hectares of land is inadequate; we want 2,500 hectares,” Ms Patkar said.
About 200 people have pitched their tents at the gates of the divisional revenue commissioner’s office at Nashik Road. The agitation appeared to be peaceful and two voluntary doctors with ample stock of medicines were also available in the entourage.
NBA began its agitation on Wednesday, which Ms Patkar said would continue till the government came up with a better proposal.