Medha Patkar takes up cause of Satara villagers affected by dam project
Social activist Medha Patkar will be meeting Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Patangrao Kadam today to demand justice for the project-affected villagers of Mendh where the Wang-Marathwadi dam in Satara district was constructed 15 years ago.
Patkar, who visited the dam last Saturday, criticised the government for its inefficient rehabilitation laws. She said only 30 per cent of the project-affected villagers whose lands were acquired for the dam project had been compensated partially.
Water from Wang-Marathwadi dam is supplied to Satara district. “Several activists and organisations had written to the Rehabilitation Ministry urging it to take necessary steps to immediately stop the filling up of the dam,” Patkar said.
“The Wang-Marathwadi dam project is just one of the few examples where rehabilitation of the villagers whose lands were acquired for such projects hasn’t been done for the last 15 years. This in spite of having a Government Resolution (GR) stating that landowners should be rehabilitate first, and then permission should be given for projects to commence.”
Right to Information activist Anoop Awasthi, who is a part of the protest, along with activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan said they were not interested in false assurances from the government. They wanted proper rehabilitation and adequate compensation for Mendh villagers. Awasthi said as a mark of protest against the delayed rehabilitation of the villagers, a human chain would be deployed at the Wang-Marathwadi dam.