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Water by India International Centre India International India International Centre

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2

THE NARMADA: DEATH OF A RIVER

Shripad Dharmadhikary

It is a hot summer day in late April and the village of Chota Badada in Badwani district of Madhya Pradesh is buzzing with activity. An already packed day for the farmers, workers, boatpeople, fisherfolk, potters, brick makers, sand miners, petty shopkeepers and others is overstretched, as it is the peak marriage season. In this scene, typical of hundreds of villages in the area, a banner slung across the entrance to the village stands out as an oddity. It says: ‘This entire village has been resettled. If you see anyone here, they are only ghosts.’ The banner is a searing comment by the villagers on the claim of the Madhya Pradesh Government that this village—one of the many to be affected ...

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