Even After 35 years, Himachal’s Pong Dam Uprooted Await Rehabilitation

Shimla: Revenue minister Gulab Singh Thakur led a high level delegation to settle a long disputed rehabilitation issue with the Rajasthan government that has been hanging fire for about three and a half decades.

The issue pertains to the people who were uprooted during the construction of the Pong Dam multipurpose national project. The governments of Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are still at loggerheads to settle the 16,352 families that were uprooted during its execution which started in 1972.

On Saturday, Himachal Pradesh Revenue Minister Thakur Gulab Singh along with Principal Secretary Revenue, Prem Kumar, Joint Secretary Revenue Rameshwar Sharma and D.C. Relief and Rehablitation Raja-Ka-Talab Arvind Shukla and Rajasthan Revenue Minister Ram Narayan Dudi, Rajasthan PWD minister and Rajinder Singh Rathore, Member of Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, Ashok Nagpal alongwith Principal Secretary Revenue Lalit Kothari and other Rajasthan government officials met to settle the issue of settling the uprooted people in Rajasthan.

Thakur Gulab Singh, Revenue Minister strongly stressed upon for settlement of all oustees who have secured eligible certificates. He also stressed upon on the rehabilitation of around 4369 oustees which included 831 and 1641 cases which were rejected under section 5(2) and 5(3) of Colonisation Rule, 1972 of Rajasthan Govt. Rajasthan Government wants to settle the oustees but stressed upon that H.P. Govt. should not force Rajasthan Government to allot the land to left out oustees in those 1188 murrabas which have reverted to the State of Rajasthan in pursuant to the orders of the Apex Court, he added.

Thakur pointed out that the plea of Rajasthan Government can not be agreed upon unless the matter is discussed with the Pong Dam Oustees who are the affected party to the CWP.

He said that the other exchange cases and the restoration 341 cases were also discussed and added that the Government of Rajasthan wants to sort out all the pending issues for the rehabilitation in stage-II area after developing facilities. He told that both parties agreed to resolve the issues by continuing talks in future also so that the impending issues are amicably settled soon.

Revenue Minister Himachal Pradesh also called on Chief Minister of Rajasthan who also assured full cooperation to resolve the pending issues. He said that next round of meeting has been proposed to sort out the issues in the month of March, 2008 in which Chief Minister of both the States will discuss the matter.

Detailed deliberations was also held on the rehabilitation issues of the Pong Dam Oustees in view of the judgement of Supreme Court of India decided on 26.7.1996 and as per directions of the High Power Committee in its 12th meeting held on 30.10.2007.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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