BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Chief Secretary to conduct a fresh inquiry by a senior revenue officer on large-scale displacement in Keonjhar district and send a report within eight weeks.
The order came following a review petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy who had moved the apex human rights panel challenging a report on the displacement submitted by Keonjhar Collector.
In the report, the Collector had refuted the allegations levelled by the petitioner on rehabilitation of the displaced farmers who lost their land and homes for Kanpur Irrigation Project (KIP) at Basudevpur.
Challenging it, Tripathy had informed the NHRC that the report submitted by the district administration is an eye wash and contradicts the facts.
''The actual displaced families will be more than 5,000 and most of them belong to poor ST and SC communities. Proper survey has not been conducted by the Government citing petty reasons like lack of revenue staff,'' he alleged.
The petitioner contended that Government officials have been deceiving people with false promises for years by not holding Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meetings on large-scale displacement.
The displaced people live in constant fear of life and liberty as the officials have denied them adequate compensation under Odisha Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Policy.
The officials also refused to fulfil their demand of land against land citing non-feasibility.
Tripathy said the bare necessities of life and benefits of social welfare schemes are also denied to these poor dalit villagers. They are yet to get BPL, Aadhar and Rashtriya Swasthya Bima cards besides the job cards under MGNREGS and other benefits like IAY and ration under social welfare schemes, he said.
Alleging that no environment clearance has been obtained for uprooting thousands of trees, cleaning shrubs, bushes, killing wildlife of rare species and destroying flora and fauna of the region, the petitioner requested the NHRC to ensure basic human rights of the villagers with adequate compensation and rehabilitation after a comprehensive survey.