Deogarh: Even as people to be displaced (once again) by the Talcher-Bimalagarh railway project in Deogarh are demanding high compensation for their land, the administration has initiated the groundwork for the project.
Notably, Talcher-Bimalagarh railway project is hanging fire due to land hurdle in different districts in the state.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) intends to complete the BimlagarhTalcher Broad Gauge rail line by March 2025 with the administrations facing inordinate delay in availability of land.
Reports said, people united under the Bimalagarh-Talcher Railway Displaced Proposed Committee from Barkote block of Deogarh recently submitted a memorandum to the Collector, seeking appropriate damages to their land.
They alleged that people who were displaced by Rourkela Steel Plant and Rengali dam project had been rehabilitated at Masina, Kumbharagadia, Ambagaon, Harekrushnapur, Makforsonpur, Singhshla, Kantalbahal, Damkucha, Jagannathpur, Lakhpalli, Akharashila, Rangamatia, Indranijharan, Balanda, Bahadaposi and Gopapur villages.
Now, they have not even managed to lead life normally due to displacement.
Again, this railway project is going to displace them which has become a cause of worry.
On the other hand, the administration has started cutting down trees on the land of these people, but compensation for the tree has not been paid. They lamented that they had no idea about how much compensation will be paid and when it will be paid. They have expressed their doubts over getting appropriate compensation
They pointed out that as they are going to face displacement twice, they should be paid Rs 10 lakh as compensation per a decimal of land.
It is said that only 298 acres of the total 921 acres of private land had been acquired till July 14, 2020.
There has been little progress in land acquisition in Sundargarh and Deogarh districts. The ECoR has got final stage-II approval for the entire 664 acres of forest land from the Ministry of Environment and Forest June 4, 2020.
Earlier, the ECoR had planned to start the project work from Bimlagarh side in Sundargarh and complete it by June, 2022.
It may be noted here that, the five-decade-old demand for the rail line was sanctioned in 2003-04. The project estimate of Rs 810.70 crore was approved in 2007-08. As it continued to delay, its cost was further revised to Rs 1,928.07 crore in November, 2016 for a total length of 149.78 km rail line through Angul, Deogarh and Sundargarh districts.
As of now, only 17.62 km from Talcher to Sunakhani has been completed while the next stretch of 16.3 km is targeted to be finished by March, 2022.