HP committed for protecting interests of oustees: Dhumal

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Shimla, Aug 7 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Government is committed to protect the interests of oustees of various hydro electric projects executed in the state under joint venture.

This was stated by the Chief Minister to the high level delegation of the Rajasthan Government, which called on him here today to apprise him of the discussions held here over the long outstanding Pong Dam oustees problem today.

"The people of the state has sacrificed their valuable ancesteral land holdings to pave the way for the construction of the hydro electric power projects over their land but in return they were compensated inadequately. There are number of families which are still awaiting their proper rehabilitation and have been running from pillar to post to get justice," Mr Dhumal said.

"The Himachal Government has been raising their problems at different stages to get the issue resolved and rehabilitation carried in most humane manner but still there are a number of cases pending with the beneficiary states," he said.

"Over 30,000 families surrendered their land and were rendered homeless in their bid to construct the 300MW Pong Dam project in joint venture. Their rehabilitation issue is still looming large and positive response from the beneficiary state is yet to be seen," he said.

He said that the state government reiterated the issue with the Rajasthan Government to allot oustees proper land in their state which were rendered landless and houseless in their home state.

Mr Dhumal said that it had been decided to sign a Memo of Understanding between both the parties to allot land to the remaining oustees in Rajasthan on priority so that the issue was resolved once for all.

He said that the modalities of visiting the site by the oustees committee and other state government officials would be completed on priority and other modalities completed before entering into an agreement with the Rajasthan Government.

He directed the authorities to ensure that the interests of the outstees were protected and every decision taken by taking them into confidence.

He said the rehabilitation of the families who had spent decades out of their house and knocked at every door for getting justice needed to be rehabilitated in a most respectable manner.


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