BHOPAL: Almost a fortnight has passed since the launch of the Narmada Seva Yatra by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan but many known personalities who have been working for the conservation of the River are yet to join it.
They include union minister Uma Bharati and union minister of state and convener of ‘Narmada Samagra’ Anil Dave. Incidentally, the portfolios of both -environment and water resources respectively – are closely linked with the conservation of Narmada.
Dave was supposed to attend the launch of the Yatra at Amarkantak but he did not come though he did attend the Van Mela at Bhopal and training workshop of Bharatiya Janata Party at Indore.
Dave organises ‘Nadi Mahotsava’ every year at Bandrabhaan, which is on the banks of Narmada. Uma Bharati has also been quite active as far as Narmada’s conservation is concerned.
During her tenure as chief minister, she used to visit Bandrabhaan frequently. She also issued a statement in the recent past that she was not invited. Prahlad Patel, who initiated cleanliness drive in Narsinghpur, was seen for the first time in the Yatra at Bargi of Jabalpur.
NBA activists not invited
The activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which has been leading a powerful movement for years opposing the Narmada Project, under which a series of large, medium and small dams are being built on the River, were not invited by the government to the Yatra. Medha Patkar has been active in the Narmada valley for years. Alok Agarwal, the head of the MP unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was also not invited. He also has been active in the NBA and has worked for the rehabilitation of the PAPs.
Vegad unwell, nobody cares
Amritlal Vegad, 89, who dedicated his life for the conservation of Narmada is unwell these days but the government is yet to do anything to help him. Vegad had performed ‘Parikrama’ of Narmada several times and has been articulate in raising problem of pollution of Narmada. He has also written several books on Narmada including ‘Narmada Ki Parikrama’ and ‘Saudaryadayini Narmada’. Vegad could not join Narmada Yatra due to his illness.