Jha commission inquiry debunks govt claims of no irregularities

Sardar Sarovar Project

* Discrimination in disbursement of special rehabilitation packag Engineers carried out substandard constructions

BHOPAL : The Jha Commission report on ‘Sardar Sarovar Project-fake sale deeds and rehabilitation sites enquiry commission’, has refuted the government claims of just replicating its own findings .

The state government claimed that none of the officials were involved in the irregularity including the NVDA officials. Besides, action has been taken against those who were found involved.

The commission’s report was tabled in the state assembly by the government on July 29. The commission was appointed by the High Court through an order in August 2008, in the context of a writ petition.

The commission have investigated the whole project on three points.

In the first point, it probed whether there have been fake registrations of sale deeds, under the special rehabilitation project and resettlement of project-affected families or persons, in Badwani, Dhar, Jhabua, Khargone and Dewas districts, and if so, the details of such fake registrations of sale-deeds and the person responsible for it.

It has been found that there has been discrimination in disbursement of ‘special rehabilitation package’. Some of the villagers got Rs 7,60,882 and many of them were given Rs 5,58,000. More than 90 percent fake registries were found in Alirajpur, Bagli and Dewas and many in Khargone also.

Fake persons executed sale deed instead of true owners. Fake person also sold government land and non existent land’. True land owner were made to sell the land, on the pretext of applying for crop loan. The Commission found “in the facts and circumstances there was no criminal intent on the part of disbursing officers.

 There may be irregularity, but there is no mens rea on the part of disbursing officer.” It is found that ‘Poor oustees particularly tribal have been looted by middlemen.’ Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) pointed out that there is a nexus between officials of NVDA and middlemen, but the claim has no evidence.

In the second point the investigations were carried out in which rehabilitation sites are of substandard quality as compared to expenditure incurred by the state government or NVDA. The Commission took technical help of the assessor, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, and department of civil engineering, IIT Mumbai and found 40 engineers have carried out substandard construction.

The government has already terminated 38 engineers while one has died and another has retired, whose full pension has been stopped.

‘There prima facie appeared to be criminal misappropriation of funds in purchasing the transformers and prima facie it appeared that less number of transformers were purchased then shown on record’.

In the third point ‘alleged corruption or irregularities in livelihood grants and alternative livelihood, house plot allotment and re-allotment at the rehabilitation sites, payment of compensation and grants to the ineligible person’ have been probed.

It has been found that ‘The NVDA has not maintained proper records related to livelihood grants, which itself demonstrate that there was a large scale corruption.

 In the allotment of houses and plots, the officials have not followed the rules’.  The activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan led by Megha Patkar are raising the issue for last many years. The Commission report may satisfy the movement activists.

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