Par-Tapi-Narmada link project: Tribal leaders demand discussion over the issue in Gujarat Assembly
Surat (Gujarat) [India], February 09: Tribal leaders from south Gujarat including Dang, Valsad, Surat, and Navsari are camping in Gandhinagar to garner support from the elected representatives from the BJP and the Congress for their agitation against the Par-Tapi-Narmada river linking project announced in the Union Budget 2022-23.
A delegation comprising of senior tribal leaders from south Gujarat including Mukesh Patel, Sunil Gamit, Vishram Patel, Mahesh Bagul, Motilal Chaudhary, Mohan Bhoye, Khalpa Chaudhary, Avinash, etc. called on the Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Sukhram Rathva.
Tribal leaders said they want to bring the issue of the Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project on the floor of the Gujarat Assembly. For this, they are meeting the elected representatives in Gandhinagar.
Talking with TBT, Mukesh Patel alias Mukesh Mama said, “Tribals in Dangs and other districts in south Gujarat are highly agitated following the government’s announcement of the Par-Tapi-Narmada river linking project in the Union Budget 2022-23. We won’t let our tribals get displaced from their forest land in the name of the river link project. Our slogan is ‘dam hatao, Dang bachao’”
Patel added, “We want the issue to be discussed on the floor of the Gujarat Assembly. If we are not getting favourable response, we are prepared to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court”
Meanwhile, tribals in the Dang have already started the silent agitation by writing slogans ‘dam hatao, Dang bachao’ on their vehicles.
Vishram Patel, another tribal leader said, “A public awareness campaign is being launched in all the tribal-dominated districts of south Gujarat to oppose the river linking project. More than 18,000 hectares of land, both of the forest and non-forest, will be submerged in the river linking project and about 35,000 tribals from Jari in Maharashtra to Kelvan in Waghai will be displaced due to the construction of seven dams on the rivers”