Land acquisition for the 125km long RishikeshKarnaprayag railway lineout of which 110 km will pass through tunnels. Including 15.1 km Indias longest tunnel began just after the new government in Uttarakhand lead by Tripendra Singh Rawat of the BJP was sworn in. Accordingly, 30839 ha Reserve Forestland, 110.316 Government Land and 169.918 private land was to be acquired and transferred to the Railways Development Corporation and soon the process for land acquiring began. For this, noobjection certificates were obtained from Womens Hospital, Kathod village, Srinagar, Degree College, also from Kathod village, Srinagar, Degree College, Old Srinagar, GNTI, Old Srinagar and Polytechnique, Bhalgaon, Srinagar. Hightension wires of PITKUL are being shifted and notices have been issued to the land holders to acquire their lands. The CM was too keen to complete this process fast and he gave instructions to the officials for it in March itself, There is a problem only for ten per cent land acquisition and well solve it fast and all affected households will be resettled within two months, he assured.
And, the officials somehow completed the formality of a publichearing under the chairmanship of Mukta Mishra, the DM at Dham Sumerpur village for the land acquisition in Punad, Tilani, Sumerpur and Ratura villages of Rudraprayag block.
But, almost immediately people started protest in Dungaripanth village, just 12 km from Srinagar, as they pointed out that compensation rate that to be given is negligible and they demanded a house against their destroyed house and an assured job.
Now, theyll pay us the compensation at four times of the circle rate, or Rs. 44.000 a nali (about 200 sq. m), but today, one nali land costs Rs. 5 lakhs, says Shankar Prasad Bahuguna, a villager. We have irrigated land that will be destroyed and the railways is not even giving us jobs, rues Jaiveer Singh, another villager. The gram pradhan (village head), Dungaripanth village said, Already, halftheland was acquired by Srinagar Hydroelectricity Project and the remaining half will be usurped by this project and if the government doesnt respect peoples sentiment, we will not let them build this line.
Five villages of Chamoli district, 12 of Pauri and 10 of Rudraprayag will be directly and indirectly affected by this project as massive amount of tunnelling and relentless blasting will destroy their fields and water sources and result in cracks in their homes as it will have 13 stations and will pass through 16 bridges and 16 tunnels.
About 300 homes are on the periphery of the proposed rail line and the land acquisition process is in its last phase in which 48 homes of seven villages in Tehri district would be dismantled. This district is facing the largest portion of the rail line and lands of 13 villages from Dhalwala to Maletha are being acquired.
Following is the total land being acquired:
District: Tehri. Total villages: 13. Total land acquired: 49.915 ha.
District: Pauri. Total villages: 17. Total land acquired: 32.993 ha.
District: Rudraprayag. Total villages: 10. Total land acquired: 23.798 ha.
District: Chamoli. Total villages: 5. Total land acquired: 77.260 ha. (total 190.966 ha)
Besides, 49 houses in Pauri district, 90 in Chamoli, 113 in Rudraprayag have been acquired, totalling 300 that will be destroyed. Overall, 45 villages with a total of 1,751 families thriving in Tehri, Pauri, Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts will be relocated. Still, homes in Ranihat and Naithana villages of Tehri district have yet to be acquired and for this, noobjection certificates have been demanded from the house owner.