Kol Dam affected be adequately compensated -Himachal CM

Shimla: Struggling to resettle uprooted people because of dam constructions done decades ago, the state government has asked National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC) to ensure adequate compensation for those being affected by construction of Kol Dam on Satluj River.

Presiding over a Kol Dam Outsees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee meeting chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal asked the dam authorities that interest of the people affected from the 800 MW dam be safeguarded.

Compensation in lieu of the damage to houses, drinking water supply schemes, roads and other infrastructural needed to be provided on priority, he said.

The chief minister said that local youth needed to be provided employment and self employment opportunities in the project. Skill up-gradation of local youth would go a long way to find employment avenues for sustenance.

Besides providing mandatory funds for local development, project authorities needed to actively associate themselves in various social and welfare activities, he said.

SC Gupta, general manager, Kol Dam informed the committee that rehabilitation colonies had been developed and a majority of the project affected oustees had already taken possession.

Threatens to take Pong Dam Outsees case to court

At another similar meet of Pong Dam Oustees Rehabilitation and Advisory Committee, Dhumal said that the state would not hesitate to take legal course against the Rajasthan government for not allotting rehabilitation land to those uprooted by the project even after 50 years of persistent efforts made to resolve the issue.

State government would explore the possibilities of prosecuting concerned authorities for their negligence in Himachal courts, he said.

He said that those outsees who had been allotted land in Rajasthan were required to be recognized as bonafide residents of the state and were entitled to all benefits. There were 2501 outsees who were still to allotted land with all basic amenities like in the first phase of the command area development.

“We would also request Rajasthan Government to convene an early meeting of the standing committee to decide all pending issues relating to Pong Dam Oustees,” he said.

Giving a brief of the inter-state issue revenue minister Gulab Singh Thakur said that there were 20,772 families were uprooted by construction of Pong Dam who under the agreements were to be re-settled in Rajasthan that was the primary beneficiary of the irrigation canal.

The Rajasthan government allotted land to 16,352 families and of them only 6,375 were handed possession.

He said that of a batch of 2501 oustees who had staked claim to allotment of land, cases of 1,472 had been forwarded to the Rajasthan government but despite several rounds of meetings the issue had not been resolved.

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