Bhubaneswar/Sambalpur: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the state Chief Secretary to submit an updated report in connection with the identification and payment of compensation to the victims displaced due to the construction of Hirakud Dam in 1952-53.
The Chief Secretary of Chhattisgarh has also been asked to submit a report regarding the non-payment of ex-gratia compensation to several displaced families in Raigarh and Sarguja districts of the state.
In addition, the NHRC has also asked its Special Rapporteur BB Misra to investigate all affected areas and the ground realities and submit the final report to the commission within eight weeks.
The commission delivered the order while hearing a plea filed by Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy in April 2017.
In his petition, Tripathy had alleged that as many as 26,561 families who were displaced for the construction of the Hirakud Dam are yet get proper compensation despite the lapse of more than 60 years.
“The government takes steps to trace and count tigers, Oilve Ridley turtles etc every year, but forgets to identify the displaced families,” Tripathy said. He had sought the intervention of the commission demanding rehabilitation of these displaced families.
The Odisha government in its submission has claimed that the displaced persons have been duly compensated and rehabilitated.
Meanwhile it also “admitted that certain service groups of people, including hankar/chowkidar/nariha/dhoba/ Bhandari, were not awarded full compensation and are yet to be rehabilitated. The issue with regard to treating the DC land patta as revenue land is also yet to be sorted out”.