SAMBALPUR: Hundreds of land oustees of Hirakud Dam project on Thursday staged dharna near the office of Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), North, demanding immediate distribution of homestead land.
The agitators, under the aegis of Hirakud Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti, said that the State government should expedite the process for distribution of 10 decimal homestead land to 14,934 displaced families in Jharsuguda, Sundargarh, Sambalpur and Bargarh districts.
General secretary of the Samiti Gopinath Majhi said on November 15 that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that 10 decimal homestead land will be provided to each of the 2,000 Hirakud Dam oustees of Jharsuguda district. "We are grateful to him for the decision. However, there are many affected people who have applied for land over the years but are still waiting to get the same," he claimed.
As many as 16,934 applications for homestead land have been submitted by the displaced families, including 10,465 in Jharsuguda, 2,719 in Sambalpur, 3,100 in Sundargarh and 650 in Bargarh. “The government must distribute 10 decimal homestead land to each of the remaining 14,934 families at the earliest,” he said.
Majhi further said, "We have also come to know that applicants of homestead land are being asked to produce documentary proof of displacement. How is it possible for all applicants to produce proof after 65 years of displacement?"
"We urge the government to consider the decision of gram sabha or gramya committee as proof of displacement," he added. On the day, the land oustees submitted a memorandum addressed to the RDC in this regard.