BHOPAL : Narmada Bachao Andolan ( NBA) activists led by Medha Patkar demonstrated at CM House, demanding that the process of land acquisition in Narmada Valley as per the 2014 Land Acquisition Act should be re- initiated with the consent of Gram Sabha.

NBA leader Medha Patkar, addressing NBA activists said, ” The Land Acquisition Act 1884 has been replaced by a new Act from January 2014. As per the new Act, if land is acquired but possession has not been taken for 5 years, then land acquisition automatically becomes null and void and that has happened in the Narmada Valley.

Under such conditions, the government will have to take fresh initiative for land acquisition for the project”. The state government should take the initiatives for land acquisition after the consent of Gram Sabha.

And before it, properties will have to be registered in the names of original landlords and revenue records will have to be updated, Medha argued.

” As the land/ houses for Sardar Sarovar project were acquired about 10- 12 years ago and they are still in possession of the affected persons, they have become owners again.

Thus any submergence activity without completion of proper rehabilitation would be totally illegal and criminal.

We dare the central and state governments to try this,” Medha said.

The protest came just days after the Gujarat government started construction to raise the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam from 121.92 metres to 138.68 metres and to install radial gates on the dam on October 8. In June 2014, the Union government gave approval to the Gujarat government to raise the height of the dam and install gates on the condition that the gates would be kept in ‘ open state’.

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