SAMBALPUR: Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti (BASS) has threatened to resort to agitation if the State Government does not review the list of Hirakud Dam oustees and payment of compensation to them. They alleged that many bona fide oustees have been left out form the compensation and will submit a list to the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (North) soon.
General secretary of BASS Gopinath Majhi said they have been fighting for the cause of the people displaced by the dam since 1997 and have prepared a comprehensive list of oustees who have not been compensated. There are still 6,693 families including 320 Jhankars (village priests) and Chowkidars (watchmen) who are missing from the list prepared by the Government. A total of 26,502 families in 369 villages had been displaced by the dam and not 22,144 families of 249 villages as per Government record. The State Government should put its record correctly, Majhi demanded.
Informing that the then State Revenue Minister replying to a query on the issue in State Assembly on March 26, 1987 had admitted that 9,913 families have not received compensation, Majhi said the State Government released a list of 3540 families to get ex gratia. Questioning the whereabouts of the missing 6,373 families besides 320 Jhankars and Chowkidars, which is contrary to the figures stated in the Assembly by the then Revenue Minister, Majhi said the State Government should come out clean on the issue.
In order to end the confusion, the Government should clarify the parameters on the basis of which the list was prepared. The ex gratia amount of `10,000 per acre declared in 1993 should be reviewed as it is two-decade-old. All the dam oustees should be provided displaced certificate and the procedure to identify the oustees simplified, he demanded.
Majhi rejected the claim of State Government on distribution of 10 decimals of homestead land pattas to the oustees and said nobody has received any patta till date. Palli Sabha and Gram Sabha should be convened in the villages concerned to identify the genuine oustees and pattas may be handed over to them, Majhi said.
He also differed on the recognition to 34 villages which resettled in areas acquired by Water Resources Department, 21 in Lakhapur block of Jharsuguda district and 13 villages in Rengali block in Sambalpur district as revenue villages against 10 villages claimed by the State Government.