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Shunglu panel calls on PM

Gargi Parsai

Hears Additional Solicitor-General, officials

NEW DELHI: The V.K. Shunglu Committee, looking into the resettlement and rehabilitation of Narmada dam-displaced families, called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Thursday.

The three-member committee heard for over three hours Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam and officials of the Narmada Control Authority and Union Ministry of Water Resources.

The Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal Award, legal aspects, the rehabilitation claims of the four riparian States and the Supreme Court awards were discussed. "The committee held exhaustive discussions with the officials. The discussions will continue on Friday," official sources said.

It is not clear whether the committee will hold discussions with the Narmada Bachao Andolan, which has objected to the setting up of the committee "unilaterally" in response to its month-long agitation.

While the Gujarat Government has objected to the committee evolving a mechanism for rehabilitation of the dam oustees, the Madhya Pradesh Government has opposed the formation of the panel.

The Supreme Court will hear an application by 48 dam-displaced families from Madhya Pradesh on May 1. Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan were asked to file reports on the status of rehabilitation.

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