Displaced families of Rajmahal Coal Project, a unit of Eastern Coalfield Limited are accusing the mining giant of incomplete rehabilitation and resettlement. The project site is Lalmatia at Godda district in Jharkhand.
Residents of Bhoda Tola Bhoria Village claim that they were displaced around a decade back and shifted to the present location. However, the coal mines are barely 25 meters away from the village. Village residents say that continuous blasting to extract the coal has made their life difficult and prone to risk. The walls of their houses have developed crack and they are forced to live under continuous fear.
Village residents also accuse that the company has been assuring an alternate place for rehabilitation but not much progress have been made. The rehabilitation site near Lohandia Bustee is being developed for the last twoandahalf years. The work has still not been completed.
Angry residents recalled that company had promised electricity, pond, medical facilities after the displacement but none of them have been fulfilled. Local Member of the Legislative Assembly, from the ruling Bhartiya Janta Party, Tala Marandi met the displaced families of the coal project and assured the families of proper compensation.
According to ECL, around 1564 families have been rehabilitated from Lamatia, Dakaita and Ishwar Marandi Nagar. Around six tolas of Bara Bhoria bustee need proper rehabilitation and need 114.79 acres of land. Company has deposited a sum of Rs 60 lakh to Jharkhand government for land based compensation to the villagers.
Opencast coal mining under Rajmahal Project was started in 2003 at an investment of Rs 2078 crores. Tala Marandi told landconflictwatch.org that the village residents are "very angry". He pointed out that displaced people are living under extreme mental anxiety because of the continuous blasts that shakes their houses. Company and district administration has not implemented the rehabilitation promises completely.
A meeting with the district administration would be held soon. Company has deposited compensation and other amounts to the government. Now, mostly its a matter of monitoring and ensuring that villagers get their rights, Marandi added.
ECL authorities maintained that the Resettlement and Rehabilitation money was deposited with the district administration. In case, district administration directs us of any discrepancies or shortcomings, we will immediately look into the matter.