R&R plan for hydro project affected approved

Shimla: The Himachal cabinet on Friday approved a relief and rehabilitation plan for residents likely to be affected by various hydro projects being executed by Himachal Power Corporation (HPCL), a state entity. Nod for a consumer awareness policy was also accorded.

Presided over by chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal the approved relief and rehab plan include a onetime resettlement grant ranging between Rs 25,000 to Rs 2.5 lakhs for people displaced because of the project. Rehabilitation colonies with all basic amenities would be developed by HPCL to provide housing for all project affected families.

Other relief measures incorporated include that a baseline socio-economic plan for each project would be prepared separated by undertaking an independent survey. All affected families would be provided 100 units free power each month for a ten year period, a cabinet spokesman stated.

Besides free medical facilities for all affected families, scheduled caste and tribe families, if they choose to settle in another district, would be entitled to an additional resettlement grant of 25 percent, the spokesman said.

With the objective of creating mass awareness the cabinet approved a consumer awareness policy about the consumer rights by constituting state and district level consumer protection councils.

The policy would be implemented by food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department and the consumer councils would help to educate the people through awareness campaigns, the cabinet spokesman said.

In another decision the cabinet approved restoration of a 0.85 MW Roolang small hydro project in Mandi district. However, the promoter would need to furnish security charges in accordance with the hydro power policy and deposit all pending dues with HIMURJA, the nodal agency for small hydro projects, the spokesman stated.

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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