August 9, 2021 5:47:09 am
The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to increase the compensation to some families displaced by the Polavaram dam project from Rs 6.86 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.
The Irrigation (Water Resources) Department has set aside Rs 550 crores to give the additional compensation to the families who are displaced from settlements and habitations in Chinturu mandal in East Godavari district.
The government decided to give the additional compensation after a survey was undertaken in the project-affected areas to find out the living conditions of the affected families. Over 1 lakh families have been displaced by the project — many of whom are living in rehabilitation colonies — and around 17,100 families will benefit from the government’s decision to increase the compensation.
Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had recently conducted an aerial survey of the Polavaram project and later held a high-level meeting to review the ongoing works, including rehabilitation and resettlement as well as spillway. Officials said that works related to the spillway are almost complete and 42 out of 48 gates were already fixed and the remaining gates will be fixed soon.
The government is also hastening up shifting of the newly displaced families to rehabilitation colonies as water level in the Godavari is rising. At least 10,000 families, including 5,000 tribal families, are being moved to rehabilitation colonies by August end, Irrigation (Water Resources) Minister Anil Kumar Yadav said.
Jagan will visit the rehabilitation and resettlement colonies next month, and instructed the officials to focus on employment and skill development to Polavaram project evacuees.
Polavaram Irrigation Project engineer-in-chief Narayana Reddy said that they have set a target to shift the displaced families from 48 of the 90 habitations by August-end. “We are ensuring that the quality of construction of rehabilitation and resettlement colonies is of high standard. A special officer has been appointed to monitor quality in R&R works and mistakes would be rectified immediately as soon as they were pointed out,” he said.
Officials said that they want to complete most of the construction before the monsoon flood in Godavari which will stop all activity, as flood waters will recede only after November or December.
At a review meeting, Jagan said that bills of rehabilitation and resettlement works are being cleared despite financial constraints and directed the officials not to keep them pending in future and expedite the works. He said the state government needs to get a reimbursement of Rs 2,300 crore from the Central government for the project, yet it is spending its own funds for the project.
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