Tamil Nadu

T.N. releases draft Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy

The State government on Tuesday released the draft version of its Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy in the public domain to invite feedback from all stakeholders.

An announcement was earlier made during the budget that the State government will formulate a new Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, which has been demanded for long by activists and the civil society.

Basic amenities

The draft policy, which has been uploaded on the website of Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB), appeared to focus more on community engagement from the initial stages of the resettlement process and ensuring that the areas where the communities are to be resettled fulfilled the basic amenities from a holistic perspective that included employment, healthcare and education.

The draft said that the policy will be applicable for involuntary resettlements involving evictions from encroached areas by non-titleholders.

The policy mandated the formation of “Resettlement Committees” for each resettlement scheme with representation of women, Scheduled Castes, and Scheduled Tribes from the affected areas and voluntary organisations, apart from officials from different departments involved.

It also mandated the constitution of State-level and district-level habitat Development Committees to focus on facilitating inter-departmental coordination, creating basic amenities to ensure sustainable livelihood, ensure delivery of welfare schemes, and redress grievances.

The draft policy said that the resettlement location must be decided in such a way that the travelling time by bus or train should not be more than 30 minutes to reach the nearest urban area.

Lands affected by industrial pollution, environmental degradation, and lands that fell under buffer zones of ecologically sensitive zones must be avoided as resettlement locations, it also said.

According to the policy, the projected affected families must be engaged from the early stages of the resettlement with more focus on dissemination of information and confidence building measures.

The enumeration exercise must include tenants living in affected areas.

Identification of vulnerable families with elders, people with disabilities, women receiving social security pensions, and identification of educational needs of children living in the affected areas should be part of the enumeration process, the policy said.

A Resettlement and Rehabilitation Scheme (RRS) must be formulated for every resettlement project, which has to be subjected to public consultation. The Resettlement Committees should meet once every month after the finalisation of RRS to track the progress of resettlement.

Entitlement matrix

The policy included an entitlement matrix with the list of things the people to be resettled will be entitled to. This included subsistence allowance, shifting allowance, employment assistance, availability of public facilities like anganwadis, community halls etc.

The policy also focussed on capacity building to sensitise officials on the issues involved in the resettlement and conduct of social audit after two years of resettlement.

Stakeholders can provide feedback through an online form available on the website of TNUHDB till October 27.

While concerns have been raised about the non-availability of the draft in Tamil, officials from TNUHDB said that a Tamil version will be made available in two days.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 5:21:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-releases-draft-resettlement-and-rehabilitation-policy/article36975078.ece

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