Hirakud oustees, Sorada villgers get closure
As per the decision, land rights over 3,231 acres will be given to displaced families of 18 villages in Lakhanpur tehsil and one of Jharsuguda.
BHUBANESWAR: Bringing closure to a six-decade-old legacy issue, the Odisha government on Saturday decided in principle to provide land pattas (record of rights) to 1,749 families of Jharsuguda district who were displaced by the Hirakud dam project in 1957.
The decision was taken at a high-level official meeting here attended by development commissioner Anu Garg, additional chief secretary, Revenue Satyabrata Sahu, 5T secretary V K Pandian and district collectors of Ganjam and Jharsuguda on the directive of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
As per the decision, land rights over 3,231 acres will be given to displaced families of 18 villages in Lakhanpur tehsil and one of Jharsuguda. The district administration would start the distribution of the land pattas in five villages - Limeitikra, Sahasbag, Chit Lachipalli, Patrapalli and Dunamunda - in December, said the Chief Minister’s Office.
The decision is the outcome of petitions received by the 5T secretary during his visits to different districts in recent months. After he drew the attention of the chief minister to the large number of grievances received from people on land-related issues, the latter directed to resolve the problem in a time-bound manner.
In another significant decision which was the result of Pandian’s visits, the government initiated steps for the settlement of land in favour of residents of 17 villages in the Ganjam district affected by the original Sorada Reservoir project, which was envisaged during the British era but did not materialise.
The British government had proposed to construct the reservoir by connecting two hills Khunteswari and Raipada and also laid the foundation stone in 1896. But, it adopted an alternative plan and constructed the now-existing Sorada reservoir bypassing the hill-connection project. However, the land of 17 villages which had then been kept under Jalasaya Kissam continued since.
The Water Resources department recently relinquished the 1362.049-acre land to the Revenue and Disaster Management department for settlement of land in favour of the affected people of 17 villages, thus resolving an issue that had persisted for over a century and a quarter. The meeting decided that the distribution of pattas for homestead land to 883 people of Sorada block of Ganjam district will be completed by September 22, 2023. Similarly, the distribution of RoR for agricultural land to 168 people will start from October 1, 2023.