Responding to a petition, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed the Madhya Pradesh government to resolve the rehabilitation issues of persons displaced by the Maheshwar dam project. According to a press statement, the NGT directive came after it heard the petition filed by Anatarsingh Patel and Sanjay Nigam, oustees of the project.
The State government will call a meeting of all stakeholders in which outstanding issues can be discussed and resolved. This will include representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Madhya Pradesh Power Management Company Limited and the project proponent, Shree Maheshwar Hydel Power Corporation.
The oustees said in the last 18 years while the construction of the Maheshwar dam wall across the river Narmada had been completed, a majority of residents still had to be properly rehabilitated.
Nearly 10,000 families are reportedly affected by the dam, according to official figures, but the actual number could be higher, the statement said.
In an affidavit filed before the NGT, the petitioners said the new Land Acquisition Act which came into force from January 1, 2014, should apply to those people who were yet to be paid compensation.
It also stated that they should get the benefit of increased compensation and rehabilitation under this new law.