Around 20 tribal families that have lost their land during construction of Sikidiri Hydel Power Plant, which is part of he Subernarekha Multipurpose Project, are threatening to stop the power generation at the project. Their decision comes after their repetitive demands for payment compensation for the land lost to the project has not been met for the past 36 years.
Sikdiri Hydelpower Station 1 and 2 were completed in 1977 and 1980 respectively. Around 230 acres of land was acquired by tribals of Urba and Karo Byang villages to ensure free flow of water through canals. Displaced tribals were not paid compensation for land acquisition even years after the land was acquired show the court documents.
While most of the families shifted to other villages and some took the paltry compensation amount, a section of tribals decided to fight for justice. Around 14 tribal families in 1993 approached Jharkhand High Court to seek compensation amount fixed by the government. In 2002, Court ordered Jharkhand government to pay the compensation as per the rules. However, the state government refused to pay the compensation.
Affected tribal families again approached the court in 2004 and filed a writ petition for fair compensation. Court ordered Ramgarh district administration and state government to take immediate steps towards payment of the compensation to the affected families.
On 30 June 2012, deputy commissioner of Ramgarh ordered to release a fund of Rs 28.68 lakh for payment to three families. However, the payment was not done till date. On November 11, 2016, MLA, Rajkumar Pahan raised the issue of nonpayment of compensation despite courts order. Jharkhand CM, Raghubar Das taking notice of the issue directed district administration to resolve the issue at the earliest.
However, six months after the Jharkhand CMs order and a year after the High Court order, compensation has not been paid to the displaced families. Angry tribal families are now planning to stop power generation to the hydel plant under the leadership of BJP leader, Rajkumar Bhogta who is also president of Sikdiri Panbijli Sangharsh Samiti.
Deputy Development Commissioner of Ramgarh, Sunil Kumar said that administration had prepared budget and even ordered to pay compensation to affected families in 2012. "There were few doubts on the number of affected families that needed to be verified. We are in the process of finalising the list of affected families for paying compensation as per the law," he said.