The steely determination and unflinching stand of farmers in Madhya Pradesh finally bore fruit as the state government decided to heed their demands of reducing the water level of the Omkareshwar dam.
The rise in the water level led to forceful displacement of villagers living close to the surrounding areas of the dam. Omkareshwar dam is associated with a big power project.
The farmers lashed at the government saying that authorities didn't initiate any programmes to rehabilitate or compensate affected residents after some agricultural lands and villages were submerged with the rise in water level of the dam.
The protesters accused the state government for failing to rehabilitate villagers before raising the dam's water level, which is allegedly in violation of Supreme Court's guidelines. The activists said that authorities should have moved the people living around the dam to a different place at least six months before the project had begun.
In a bid to make the government address their concerns, hundreds of villagers began "jal satyagraha" in neck-deep water and continued their protests in the freezing waters for about 17 days before the government heard their request.
On Monday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan bowed to the farmers' demands and announced the government's decision to reduce the water level.
Addressing a press meet, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister said that the water level would be scaled down to 189 metres from the present 190.5 metres, besides giving compensation for affected farmers.
Chouhan said that the farmers' demand for land-for-land compensations would also be met within 90 days, according to reports.
Chouhan, however, expressed concerns over the negative impacts of reducing the water level of the Omkareshwar dam on Narmada River, saying that over 20,000 villages would record a short-fall in water for irrigation and the state's electricity supply would also take a hit.
Meanwhile, reports suggested that a ministerial panel will oversee the rehabilitation programme of the villagers.