NBA activists end MP river protest, 5 of 6 demands met

Birds fly over Narmada river as a boat ferries across, in Jabalpur, Sunday, Nov. 03, 2019. (PTI Photo)

A protest by Narmada Bachao Andolan in Madhya Pradesh's Khandwa district for the reduction in the water level in a dam ended on Tuesday after all but one of their demands were accepted.

NBA leader Alok Agarwal and others have been standing in waist-deep water in the Narmada river at Kamankheda village since October 25 demanding that water level in Omkareshwar Dam be brought down to save villagers living in its catchment areas.

The protesters wanted the water level in the dam to be reduced from 196.6 metres to 193 metres.

"The 12-day 'Jal Satyagraha' ended after Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation (NHDC) Chief General Manager Pawan Sharma gave a written assurance on five NBA demands on behalf of the state government," Agarwal said.

However, the sixth demand, of reducing the water level in the dam, was not accepted due to technical reasons, he added.

The NHDC had, on October 21, started increasing the water level in the dam, leading to villages in the catchment areas getting flooded.

He claimed a site will be developed to rehabilitate 500 families affected due to the construction of Omkareshwar Dam, and a package announced in 2013 for about 700 families will be doubled.

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