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The Supreme Court has expressed annoyance over the delay in providing relief to Narmada dam oustees saying the issue had not moved an inch forward in the last one year. "Today the position is that we have not moved an inch forward," a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said referring to its 23rd April 2007 order in which it had asked the Madhya Pradesh Government to clarify the factual position on relief and rehabilitation which was objected to by NGO Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA). "Today we were expecting something concrete will emerge but its all repetition. We are only requesting to come up with something concrete," the Bench, also comprising Justices S B Sinha and S H Kapadia, said. The Bench's observations came when advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for NBA questioned the facts and figures on the Special Relief Package (SRP) provided by the state government to oustees. The Bench was hearing a contempt petition filed by the NBA alleging that authorities, particularly in Madhya Pradesh has not provided relief and rehabilitation package to the affected families as per the apex court direction while raising the height of the dam from 110m to 121.92m. It said before moving ahead with the issue it would be proper that Madhya Pradesh and NBA should give suggestions to the Narmada Control Authority (NCAA), the expert body which was looking into the relief and rehabilitation. Thereafter, the NCAA will give its report on the basis of which the matter could be decided, the Bench said and posted the matter for final order after eight weeks. The NBA was objecting to the fact that out of the 4,453 project affected family only 214 were to be alloted the land. The Bench said there was a need for compartmentalising the scenario as some project affected family has opted for SRP and others have preferred some other form of relief. "Apparently there does not appear to be a solution," the Bench said asking the contesting parties to file written submission with supporting documents. Madhya Pradesh Government had earlier countered the NBA's submissions by contending that the SRP was not forced on the oustees and the facts and figures presented by the NBA on relief and rehabilitation were not correct. It had contended that land as compensation was given to those who have lost 25 percent of their cultivable land while the rest were given cash compensation. The state government had said the numbers would vary as the height goes up and when it will reach the eventual height of 138.68 m there would be 3,9368 project affected people and Grievance Redressal Authority headed by a retired High Court judge was looking into the relief and rehabilitation work. It said that there was 5000 hectare land earmarked by the state government for the relief and rehabilitation.
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