PITHORAGARH: Pancheshwar damLok Sangathan, an organisation working for the development of Mahakali valley in Kumaon division of Uttarakhand, has opposed the Pancheshwar multipurpose project saying that according to the ‘Social Impact Assessment’ (SIA) report, prepared for the Pancheshwar dam, the compensation in affected villages will not be distributed equally. The organization also said that the rulling BJP is misleading people in the name of 10 times more compensation for circle rates.
According to the SIA, 84% of land compensation will be received by only 23 villages, while around 134 villages will be affected by the project. Sumit Mahar, a member of the organization, said, “Circle rates of affected villages are different and circle rates are high for villages near roads or towns. Circle rates of villages away from roads are very low and hence, the difference.”
The organization has also accused BJP leaders of misleading the people in the name of 10 times more compensation of the circle rates, while no written document has so far discussed that much compensation. The organization said that even if the affected people are being given compensation of, 6 times of the circle rates, they will not be able to buy the land at another place in this price.
“If land for land is not a provision in the rehabilitation policy and the compensation rates are insufficient, the displacement by Pancheshwar Dam will lead to severe impoverishment as these farmers will not be able to buy similar fertile land, and thus there is no guarantee of a livelihood for them.” said Surendra Arya, a resident of Jhulaghat and member of Mahakali Lok Sangathan.
A press note stated, “As per the Social Impact Assessment report, prepared by WAPCOS, 3,735 hectares will be acquired for the Pancheshwar and Rupaligaad projects. Around 23 villages in Pithoragarh district are getting Rs 5,452 crore 84% of the total compensation (Rs 6,520.1 crore). These 23 villages have less than 23% of the total affected families, viz 7,102 of the 31,023 affected families.”
News Credit: Times of India