Hirakud dam displaced stage demonstration

August 25, 2013 12:00 am | Updated 05:37 am IST - BHUBANESWAR:

With rehabilitation and resettlement issues pertaining to people displaced by Hirakud Dam Project continuing to remain unsolved for over 50 years, hundreds of dam affected people from undivided Sambalpur district staged agitation in front of State Legislative Assembly here on Saturday.

Villagers under the banner of Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti (BASS) were demanding fulfilment of all the promises made for rehabilitation and resettlement of around 26,561 families of 369 villages.

“These families were displaced in 1955-56 by the Hirakud Big Dam project. They settled themselves in many parts of Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh, Sundargarh and Sonepur Districts and even in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Out of these 26,561 displaced families, around 11,000 families and their successors have been residing in the periphery of the Hirakud Reservoir,” said Basudev Bhoi, president of BASS.

“So far as the payment of compensation is concerned, till date 9,944 displaced families had not been paid compensation. Due to our consistent struggle, State government had once decided to pay ex garatia to 3,540 families by sanctioning Rs. 2.66 crore in 1993. About 6,404 displaced families were left behind,” Mr. Bhoi pointed out. In absence of proper R&R Policy in the State during the period, private lands were acquired at throwaway price.

“The State government had promised to issue land titles to all the Hirakud Dam displaced families and to do joint survey of the unsurveyed villages in 2008, it had directed all the concern district Collectors to issue homestead land titles and pay all unpaid compensations to displaced families by June 30, 2012. All these promises have remained as promises and have never become a reality,” rued Gopinath Majhi, General Secretary of BASS.

BASS demanded immediate issue of 10 decimal homestead land titles to all displaced and affected families. Besides all the 34 unsurveyed villages located on the bank of Hirakud Reservoir should be converted into revenue villages.

BASS says 9,944 displaced families failed to get any compensation

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