TN releases draft resettlement policy

The State government issued a draft policy note to ensure people, who are being resettled from one location to another, are “treated fairly and humanely” during the entire process. 

Published: 13th October 2021 05:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th October 2021 05:34 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The State government issued a draft policy note to ensure people, who are being resettled from one location to another, are “treated fairly and humanely” during the entire process. The draft suggests carrying out the process in three phases: pre-resettlement; resettlement; rehabilitation. It stresses on identification of people to be resettled transparently in the first phase, while the second phase emphasises on treating people in a humane manner.

“A standard operating procedure is also issued to carry out the resettlement process in the second stage,” the note said, adding the final phase is a long-term process. “The lives of resettled people should be stabilised with sustainable livelihood opportunities. It needs inter-departmental coordination,” it added.

According to the note, the decision to resettle people from a location would be taken by a district-level committee, headed by a district collector, composed of officials from departments that evict, resettle, and others. In Chennai alone, the Greater  Chennai Corporation Commissioner would be the head of the committee.

Apart from underscoring wide publicity and dissemination of information on the resettlement process, the draft also laid emphasis on public consultation by a designated officer. Besides, it suggested enumeration of affected families within three months from the date of publication of an announcement of the resettlement. Then, a competent authority (one issuing eviction notices) would coordinate with Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB) shall prepare and publish a draft resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) scheme with a list containing various details, including families likely to be displaced, infrastructure in affected area, purpose and timeline of the resettlement.

“The resettlement process should be completed within three years from the publication of such a scheme,” the note said. It further said a social audit should be taken up within a period of two years (from resettlement date) in resettlement areas in association with academic institutions empanelled by TNUHDB.

“Women participation should be encouraged in social audits, which shall look into whether the R&R scheme was implemented properly,” it said.

The policy is being formulated holistically, by combining salient features of various existing legislations, rules and frameworks, said the draft note, however, adding that the policy would prevail over other instructions. The government has invited suggestions and improvements from all stakeholders on the draft policy online within October 27, 2021.

Draft policy note

Who can use it?
Government departments
Statutory authorities
Local bodies under various acts and rules

For what?
Implementation of court orders
Developmental projects
Enforcement of acts or rules
Removing encroachments that hinder water flow
Facilitating smooth traffic

Areas under focus
Objectionable poramboke lands
Vulnerable locations prone to disasters, such as  floods, cyclones, landslides, etc

Who is it aimed at?
Encroacher or non-titleholder of land where displacement is proposed for involuntary resettlement

The policy’s ambit?
Applicable only for process of resettlement. Land acquisition claims, appeals would be governed by respective Acts

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