Andhra Pradesh

‘Only 4% of Polavaram evacuees rehabilitated’

Polavaram Nirvasithula Hakkula Porata Committee convener A. Veerabhadra Reddy addressing the media in Kakinada on Monday.  

Lawyers, SC and ST rights activists and tribal people led by the Indian Association of Lawyers (IAL) on Monday claimed that the rehabilitation and resettlement of only 4% of the oustees of Polavaram irrigation project have been completed, despite the government’s plan to complete the construction of the project by the year-end.

In a media conference held here, IAL State executive member Ainavarapu Suryanarayana said said that about 53% of the total 5.8 lakh the Polavaram project oustees are tribals.

“By April, only 4,000 of the more than 1.5 lakh affected families have been rehabilitated. The Andhra Pradesh High Court has mandated the completion of the rehabilitation and resettlement process on par with the construction of the project. However, the State government appears to be preparing to force the oustees to leave their habitation without compensating them,” said Mr. Suryanarayana.

Polavaram Nirvasithula Hakkula Porata Committee convener A. Veerabhadra Reddy said that the construction work on the project site should be stopped until thousands of tribal families were rehabilitated. “We never opposed the project. We only appeal to the government to provide the oustees the assured compensation,” he said.

"The successive Central and State governments never set any deadline to complete the rehabilitation and resettlement process. However, they always focus on completing the project within the deadline, throwing tribals out of the project sites,” said Mr. Veerabhadra Reddy.

East Godavari District SC&ST Vigilance and Monitoring Committee member Aithabattula Rameswara Rao said that the State and the Centre should own the responsibility of ensuring financial and social security to the evacuees as per the existing laws. “However, such an initiate is yet to be seen in over a decade,” he added.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 1:08:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/only-4-of-polavaram-evacuees-rehabilitated/article34306597.ece

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