DBWC demands rehabilitation package on power project

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Itanagar, Oct 17 (UNI) The Dibang Basin Welfare Committee (DBWC) based at Roing under Lower Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh has asked the State Government for a rehabilitation package for the families likely to be affected by 3000 MW Dibang Multipurpose Project.

The DBWC, formed a few months ago as a facilitator between the public and National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd (NHPC), in a 10-point memorandum submitted to the State Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu demanded that the departments, construction agencies and government officials involved in the project be given specific direction in this regard.

Mr Khandu appreciated the committee's initiative, after the DWBC delegation led by MLAs Laeta Umbrey, Roding Pertin and Rajesh Tacho apprised him of the ground realities. He explained the importance of the project for the rapid socio-economic growth of the nation, particularly the state and the people of Dibang and Lower Dibang Valley districts and assured them his full support.

He also suggested them to hold meetings to win the confidence of the people and extend cooperation to the local administration to ensure that not a single project-affected family was left out.

Claiming that the compensation for the fully affected families (FAFs) presented in the NHCP's resettlement and rehabilitation plan was too meagre and insufficient, Mr Khandu said that the FAFs ought to be given two acres of homestead land, two hectares of cultivable land and one-time lumpsum of Rs 12 lakh each, while the partially affected families (PAFs) ought to be offered Rs six lakh each.

Besides, the 72 families identified as FAF, there were sizeable population from villages who have migrated to other places, but still hold their rights on their lands and continue to use them for sustenance, DBWC said, demanding that this entire populace be categorised as PAFs and given 50 per cent of the one-time monetary grant offered to the FAFs.

It asked for a 'community package' which included the setting up of NHCP headquarters in Roing, a proposal to construct a 'railway-cum-road bridge' over Lohit river, appointment of locals of Lower Dibang Valley and Dibang Valley district to all C and D grade works in the construction company, giving all contract works of up to Rs 50 lakh directly to the local contractors without fussing over documents, reducing the dam's height to 250 metre from the proposed 288 metre and instilling a sense of local participation by involving a representative body of the district's people in the NHPC decision making and development committee.

It added that the danger posed to the dam's downstream areas and to the villages lying along Talon River necessitated a detailed survey. The memorandum, a copy of which was made available to the press, also demanded a hike in the local area development fund to five paise per unit of electricity sold by the corporation, to be shared between the host districts, and urged NHCP and the State Government to set up a medical college in Roing as an added bonus to the host districts.

The DBWC had also a threadbare discussion with the NHPC executive director Digvijay Nath here, who clarified on some apprehensions of the people and assured his corporation's commitment to achieve the goal.

UNI

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