Social activist Medha Patkar and 11 others were today taken by the police to hospitals from Chikhalda village of Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district, where they have been sitting on an indefinite fast since last 12 days. Patkar, the founder of the 'Narmada Bachao Andolan', and her associates had launched the fast on July 27, demanding "proper" rehabilitation and resettlement of those affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project. All of them, including Patkar, were taken to hospitals by the administration as their health was deteriorating, Indore Division's Commissioner Sanjay Dube told PTI, without disclosing which hospitals. They were taken in different ambulances, he said, adding six policemen suffered injuries in the process. Thousands of families along the Narmada river in MP's Barwani, Dhar, Alirajpur and Khargone districts are at risk of getting displaced with the closing of gates of the Sardar Sarovar Dam in neighbouring Gujarat and the resultant rise in water level in its catchment area. The Centre recently gave the nod for closing the gates. The water level in the catchment area reached 121.90 metres today, nearing the danger mark set at 123 metres.
The dam is likely to be filled to its capacity by August-end. Yesterday, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti had urged 62-year-old Patkar to end the hunger strike while expressing concern over her health. Patkar, in response, had urged the minister to support her in saving Narmada river.
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