Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel on Saturday announced a cancellation of Tapi Par Narmada Link Project in Surat. This announcement comes after tribal community protested against the river link project fearing displacement.
Succumbing to pressure from major tribal protests, led by the Congress, as well as from BJP’s own leaders, the Centre on March 28 decided to put a halt to the Par-Tapi-Narmada Riverlinking Project in Gujarat.
A decision to put a halt to the Gujarat side of the project was taken at a meeting between Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and tribal MLAs and MP from Gujarat.
About the Project:
Except for Par river in Nashik in Maharashtra, the rest of the Rs 10,500 crore project involves rivers of tribal regions in South Gujarat. The project involves diverting excess river waters from Par, Tapi and Narmada to the water-starved Saurashtra and Kutch regions of the State.
Protests Against Project in Gandhinagar:
More than 5,000 tribals had gathered in the Gujarat capital Gandhinagar on March 26 to protest against the river linking project that threatens to displace hundreds of tribal families in the South Gujarat region
Albeit, several Gujarat Congress leaders, including state president Jagdish Thakor, were detained by the police as they marched towards the State Assembly complex to lodge their protest.
While the police rounded up around 80 Congress workers and leaders from Satyagrah Chhavni ground in sector 6, some 15 Congress MLAs staged a walkout over the issue soon before the House proceedings ended for the day.
Why Tribals are protesting against the project:
The root cause is the fear of displacement. This issue is so sensitive for the tribal society that so far more than 10 big meetings and gherao have taken place in Gandhinagar. A postcard campaign was launched in protest, demanding cancellation of the Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project.