SAMBALPUR: Land oustees of Hirakud dam project under the banner of Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti (BASS) staged a demonstration in front of the office of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Northern Division) here on Wednesday over their long pending demands.
They also submitted a memorandum, addressed to RDC (ND) Bhaskar Jyoti Sharma, to his Under Secretary Prasanta Kumar Pattnaik.
In the memorandum, BASS stated that the State Government had declared allotment of 10 decimal homestead land to the oustees. While Rengali and Jamankira tehsils in Sambalpur district have started allotting the 10 decimal land to oustees, BASS claimed that thousands of applications for land allotment are pending in Jharsuguda, Sundargarh and Bargarh districts. They demanded settlement of the issue and necessary action for payment of unpaid compensation to displaced families. They also demanded recognition to 29 villages, situated on the periphery of the reservoir and resettled in areas acquired by Water Resources Department, as revenue villages.
In the memorandum, BASS further stated about issue of land lying between 630 feet and 632 feet water level of the reservoir on long lease to the displaced to allow them eke out a living since these areas, though acquired, are not submerged. Majority of the displaced, who resettled in the periphery of the reservoir, depend on fishing. Explaining that industrial effluent released into the reservoir is taking toll on fish population, BASS demanded long term plan to develop pisciculture in the reservoir.
General secretary of BASS, Gopinath Majhi said, “The displaced families have resettled in many parts of Odisha. They should be given double compensation, if they are displaced second time by mining projects or industries.” We also oppose the construction of barrages over river Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh as it will affect flow of water into the reservoir and affect livelihood of people, he added.