Hirakud Dam oustees await rehabilitation and compensation

Reported by

Sandeep Pattnaik

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

January 5, 2017

January 5, 2017

Updated on

January 5, 2017

Location of Conflict

Hirakud

Bargarh, Sonepur, Jharsuguda, Subarnapur

Sambalpur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Multipurpose Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

47582

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

74059

ha

Starting Year

1957

State

Odisha

Sector

Infrastructure

The Hirakud Dam in Odisha is the first major multipurpose river valley project in India. The dam was proposed to be built on the Mahanadi river, 15 km from Sambalpur, in 1946 to provide water for irrigation and power generation and to control flooding. Despite there being mass agitations against the proposed dam in 1945, the late Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru officially inaugurated the dam on January 13, 1957. The feasibility report estimated that 168 villages would be submerged covering 1,35,000 acres of land under the Hirakud dam reservoir. However, contrary to the report, postconstruction, the number proved to be significantly higher. It submerged 325 villages covering 1,83,000 acres of land, displacing about 26,501 families (approximately 1,00,000 people). Several displaced families are yet to receive the promised land and compensation. For many among those who received compensation from the government, the amount was deemed to be insufficient as per the market rate. Since 1995, time and again, the displaced people have organised themselves under the aegis of Hirakud Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti, demanding for adequate compensation and rehabilitation. The resistance to Hirakud dam has also been emboldened on the ground due to the consistently underwhelming performance of the dam. The dam had four main objectives – ood management, hydropower production, irrigation and navigation, and in all four criteria, the performance has reportedly not been up to the mark. Over the years, for many displaced and project affected their grievances have compounded. Resistance, at the grassroots level has also carried on. In 2018, The National Human Rights Commission ,acting on a petition filed by lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy, deployed its special rapporteur to investigate the failure of the rehabilitation of around 26,000 displaced individuals. Recently, in March 2021, NHRC directed the Chief Secretaries of both Odisha and Chhattisgarh to submit an Action Taken Report on the mitigation of problems with regards to oustees by April. Further, Gopinath Majhi, noted activist and long time associate of Hirakud Bhudianchal Sangharsh Samiti, informed LCW that the movement on ground continues to be steady, albeit slow at present due to the pandemic and the consequent lockdown. He further communicated that, in a recent development, land pattas for homestead land for 10,000 families which had been pending since 2002, were finally granted in 2021, after talks held with the government in 2020.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation

Demand for promised compensation

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

100

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 26 [Market Value of the land to be determined by the Collector as per the Stamp Act or the average sale price for similar type of land in the area]; Section 27 [Amount of compensation to be calculated based on market value]; Section 38 [The Collector has the power to take possession of land only after payment of due compensation]; Schedule 2 [In case of irrigation projects, affected persons whose agricultural land has been acquired must be compensated with a minimum of 1 acre of land]
Odisha Stamp (Amendment) Rules, 2001
Section 41 [This Section lays down the procedure to determine market value of land]
Odisha Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Rules, 2015
Section 28 [Compensation to paid by the Collector within 15 days of the passing of the rehabilitation and resettlement award] ];
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Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Incorrect estimation of compensation

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Delay in allottment and possession of land/property

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Public campaign

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Odisha

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

The Hirakhand Nagarik Parishad (HKNP), Budi Anchal Sangram Samiti (BASS)

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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