Bhopal: Around 40,000 families in Madhya Pradesh, whose houses were facing submergence due to the closing of the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam, did not light their ‘chulhas’ (stoves) as a mark of protest on Monday, the fifth day of the indefinite fast announced by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar in this regard, said an activist.
Most of these families have not left the catchment areas of the dam in Barwani, Alirajpur, Dhar and Khargone districts.
The state government had given them time till on Monday to evacuate.
Even though the water level of the Narmada river was on the rise, the families were not willing to leave, said Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Himshi Singh, speaking from Barwani.
Some 40,000 families did not cook and observed a fast on Monday to protest the closing of the dam gates without proper rehabilitation measures for the affected people, she added.
Patkar is on an indefinite fast, demanding a proper rehabilitation of the affected people, at Chidhalda village along the river in Barwani district.
Singh alleged that the government shelter homes for the affected people lacked even basic amenities.
She added that they had moved the Supreme Court over the issue of their rehabilitation, seeking an urgent hearing, and the petition would be heard next week.
Neighbouring Gujarat got the Centre’s nod to close the gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam last month.