Skip to main content

Most of 31,000 Uttarakhand dam affected families to get "peanuts" as compensation, says fresh calculation

By Our Representative
A fresh calculation following the recent Uttarakhand government’s announcement that it is “ready” to pay six times what is called the “circle rate” as compensation payable to the projected affected families (PAFs) of the proposed 5,040 MW Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project (PMPP), has suggested that the distribution of the total amount – Rs Rs 6,520.1 crore – would be “highly skewed” and “unequal.”
According to official sources, the Pancheshwar dam is likely to lead to land acquisition to the tune of 3,735 hectares (ha) of private land. The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) report, prepared by government-appointed consultants, WAPCOS, estimates that it would impact 31,023 families in three districts of the state – Pithoragadh, Almora and Champawat.
The calculation, carried out by the civil rights organization Mahakali Lok Sangathan (MLS), based in Pithodagadh, Uttarakhand, has unearthed a stark reality: In just one village, Majirkanda, would be getting 65% (Rs 4,211.39 crore) of the total compensation amount, even though in just one district, Pithoragadh, 23 villages would be affected.
“As per the SIA report, 1,279.21 ha land (which 34% of the total land to be acquired for the project) falls in one village, Majirkanda of Pithoragarh district”, an analysis, by Srendrandra Arya and Prakash Bhandari based on the calculation says, adding, “It is unclear how such a large chunk of land is falling in just one village.”
“Compare this to another project affected village in Pithoragarh district, Kaanadi, which will be totally displaced by the dam”, the analysis says, adding, “A total of 3.9 hectares (195 naalis) of private land is to be acquired here, and the compensation rate here amounts to Rs 80,000 per naali (circle rate is Rs 20,000 per naali).”
“Even if this is multiplied six times of the applicable circle rate of the area, it amounts to about Rs 1.2 lakh per naali”, the analysis underlines, suggesting this is far below the actual market rate.
“The main question, which the PAFs are raising, is whether with this amount it is at all possible for a family to buy fertile and productive land in a well-connected village in the area. For instance, if people of Kaanadi were to search for land around Wadda, the current rates there are around Rs.7-8 lakhs/naali”, the analysis says.
Kailash Chand from Kanaadi village laments, “There are 40 plus families who will be completely displaced in the village and this dam is a nightmare for us. All the figures of land in the survey are incorrect. The amount of land involved is substantially higher than has been recorded by WAPCOS in the SIA report”.
Pointing out that similar is the case in with 13 out of the 20 impacted villages of Almora district, the analysis says, “In Champawat district, where out of the 15 villages, seven will be impacted, the compensation rate is worse, Rs. 0.50 per naali. Even six times circle rate won’t enable farmers to buy land elsewhere.”
Worse, the analysis says, the calculation suggests that 23 villages of Pithoragadh alone villages would be paid Rs 5,452 crore, i.e 84%, of the total compensation budgeted for private land acquisition, i.e Rs 6,520.1 crore.
“It is important to note that these 23 villages have less than one fourth (23%) of the total PAFs – 7102 of the 31,023 PAFs”, the analysis says, adding, “As a result of this inequality about 80% of the PAFs will get amounts equal to peanuts for the kind of fertile and diverse land base that will be lost. It is clear that the displacement because of the dam will push thousands of families into poverty and an economic crisis.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”