Sambalpur: Sixty five years have gone by since the Hirakud dam in Sambalpur district was commissioned. But sadly, many issues like rehabilitation and compensation of the people who were ousted are yet to be resolved, a report said.
According to the reports, the district administration observed the 65th anniversary of the dam Thursday.
The report said that despite repeated reminders to the administrative officials, the problems of the misplaced families have not been solved. They continue to live in misery.
Oustees united under the ‘Hirakud Jalabhandar Bisthapita Kalyan Samiti’ have submitted a memorandum to District Collector Dibyajoti Parida in this regard.
The collector has assured the oustees that steps will be taken to sort out whatever issues they have.
Oustees alleged that the Supreme Court and the Orissa High Court have given verdicts in their favour regarding their demands, but the government has been denying in reports that the displaced families have unsolved issues.
“Keeping in view the upcoming Panchayat elections, the Odisha government announced a few days back that it will provide land for houses for those displaced. However, we have serious doubts about its implementation,” the members of the committee pointed out.
“Announcements for oustees had been made earlier also. We went to the revenue offices with hope, but to no avail,” they lamented.
They said that the government is generating electricity from the reservoir. Industries and farmlands are getting water from the dam and in the process the government is earning revenue.
However, it has no concern for those who have lost their land and homes, they rued. In 1955-56, the Odisha government had identified 26,501 displaced families for the project.
Till now 13,470 of them have not been properly rehabilitated and compensated for their losses, the members of the committee informed.
They stated that after repeated demands, agitations and taking legal recourse, 3,540 people had been provided Rs 10,000 each per acre as compensation.
However, 5,204 families who lost their wells, trees and temples have not been given compensation, it was alleged. In 2002, the Odisha government had announced to provide 10 decimals of land to each displaced family.
Nearly 25,000 families were identified as displaced. However, till date only 2,000 families have been provided with land, the members informed.
They added that 221 people in Rengali tehsil, 201 in Jamankira tehsil and 25 in Kuchinda tehsil were provided 10 decimals of land.
However, the government has claimed in its report that all the ousted families have been given land. In Sundargarh district, over 1,000 displaced families had applied for land, but no step has still been taken.
The Water Resources department has handed over 34 non-revenue villages on the fringe of the reservoir to the Revenue department, but no survey has been done for these villages, alleged the committee members.