Bhopal: Provide cultivable land to Omkareshwar dam oustees, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has ordered state government to provide cultivable land to the oustees of the Omkareshwar dam project within three months. The relocated ones also have a choice of preferring 15% interest on the rehabilitation package.  The three member bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi gave the decision on March 13 on a petition filed by Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Coordinator of Narmada Bachao Andolan and state president of AAP Alok Agarwal said that the state government should take action and provide cultivable land immediately to the oustees of the project. Moreover, the displaced persons also have the right to choose between the land or taking interest on the compensation package, said Agarwal citing Supreme Court decision. Agarwal said that MP High Court had ordered to provide land to the persons affected by dam in 2008 but state government appealed in the apex court.

The Grievance Redressal Authority too had said that norms related to rehabilitation policy were not followed in rehabilitation of 2300 applicants. More than 700 applicants had returned the compensation amount demanding land in return but government showed land to about 200 dislocated persons only and that land too was barren, added Agarwal.  He said that state government should immediately implement the SC decision else thousands of dam affected people will march to Bhopal on March 28 to press their demand.

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