Odisha: NHRC seeks report on rehabilitation of Hirakud dam displaced families

Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a comprehensive report from Odisha Government on resettlement and rehabilitation of more than 26,000 families displaced during construction of Hirakud dam in the State.

Hearing a complaint filed by Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Radhakant Tripathy, the NHRC has directed the Chief Secretary of Odisha to submit the report by December 7, 2020.

In the complaint, Tripathy had mentioned about compensation amount yet to be provided to the displaced people.

Around 1.23 lakh acre land and 360 villages were submerged in the water due to construction of Hirakud reservoir, the longest earthen dam in the World.

More than 1 lakh people were displaced due to the dam construction. About 70 years after the river valley project, the third generation of displaced people is deprived of getting justice, Tripathy alleged in his application.

Earlier, the Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Northern Division, Odisha, following a directive by the NHRC, had mentioned in the report that the land acquisition was made for the Hirakud dam construction project in the year 1952-53. The steps have been taken in different periods to settle grievances made by the displaced families of Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Bargarh and Sonepur districts. However, the displaced families of a few communities are yet to be rehabilitated and provided the compensation amount.

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