Madhya Pradesh CM meets Manmohan Singh on Maheshwar Dam issue

May 5th, 2010 - 7:41 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan met the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Wednesday and requested him to intervene on the Maheshwar Dam issue, which is facing objections from Ministry of Environment.

“We have appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene and help the people of Indore and Devas to get water and Madhya Pradesh in getting rid of power crisis,” said Chauhan after his meeting with Dr Singh.

“We have requested the Prime Minister and he has assured of resolving the issue after holding discussion,” he added.

Chauhan accused Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh of having an agenda to stall development projects in the state.

“We feel that Jairam Ramesh is working like the activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan. He is not seeing from a development perspective, people’s perspective, water and electricity point of view but is only concerned only of environmental issue, which is one sided,” said Chauhan.

The Union Environment Ministry has ordered suspension of work on the Maheshwar dam till the dislocated people are rehabilitated.

The Madhya Pradesh Government says that stoppage of the project at this juncture would result in the loss of 702,000 units of power per day starting in 2010.

Earlier, the Madhya Pradesh government had written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking intervention on the issue.On February 17, the Union Environment Ministry had issued a show cause notice to the Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation Limited (SMHPCL) stating that there has been no satisfactory compliance with the conditions of environmental clearance. The ministry also asked the SMHPCL to show cause as to why the clearance should not be revoked and directions for the closure of the Maheshwar project should not be issued.The reply filed by SMHPCL in response to the show- cause notice confirmed that there was no rehabilitation plan with details of the agricultural land to be allotted to the oustees, and that the relief and rehabilitation measures are far lagging behind the construction of the dam. On April 2, Jairam Ramesh acknowledged during a media conference in Bhopal that conditions of clearance in the Maheshwar Project have been violated and status of rehabilitation is appalling. He also said that he is ready to suspend work on the dam until rehabilitation is completed. However the Ministry of Environment and Forests has not suspended the work till now.

The dam is said to be one of the largest being built on the River Narmada in Madhya Pradesh. The Madhya Pradesh Government privatized the project in 1992, by handing it over to the S.Kumar Group. (ANI)

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