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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Himachal: Over 50 yrs on, people displaced by Bhakra Dam construction still struggling, say MLAs

Built on the Sutlej, the dam displaced or affected thousands of people living in Bilaspur and Una districts. Naina Devi MLA Ram Lal Thakur, who raised the issue during Question Hour, said that many of the displaced persons who later settled in the New Bilaspur Township were declared encroachers due to anomalies in the settlement process.

By: Express News Service | Shimla | September 18, 2020 11:11:37 pm
Bhakra Dam construction, displaced people, Himachal news, Shimla news, Indian express newsMany oustees have not been allotted land till date, while many resettled areas lack basic amenities, said Thakur and other MLAs from the area in their representations tabled in the House. (File)

People displaced by the Bhakra Dam, one of the earliest dams built in post-Independence India, continue to face rehabilitation and resettlement hurdles, several members of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly said on Friday.

Built on the Sutlej, the dam displaced or affected thousands of people living in Bilaspur and Una districts. Naina Devi MLA Ram Lal Thakur, who raised the issue during Question Hour, said that many of the displaced persons who later settled in the New Bilaspur Township were declared encroachers due to anomalies in the settlement process.

Many oustees have not been allotted land till date, while many resettled areas lack basic amenities, said Thakur and other MLAs from the area in their representations tabled in the House.

Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said the pain of people affected by the project has not ended even after more than half a century. The state government has formed a high-level committee which includes MLAs from affected areas to settle all issues of the oustees, he said. “We’re eager to come to a resolution during the current tenure of the government. If people displaced by one project are not properly settled, it’s not possible to initiate land acquisition for other projects,” he said.

Also in the House

# The government is considering setting up fire stations in remote areas of the state such as Pangi and Dodra-Kwar where fire incidents are common due to predominance of wooden houses and storage of hay within the house, said CM Jai Ram Thakur, while replying to a question raised by Bharmour MLA Jia Lal

# 456 people have been given jobs on compassionate grounds from January 2018 to May 2020, while 3,413 applications are pending before the government, said a written reply

# A crucial bridge linking Kullu town with the left bank of the Beas river has been lying closed since January last year, said MLA Sunder Singh Thakur, demanding expedition of its repair work

# MLA Balbir Singh Verma from Chopal complained of erratic power supply in his constituency, where construction of a proposed 66 KV substation has been stalled due to lack of forest land clearances

# The Central University of Himachal Pradesh has been running from temporary campuses for around a decade due to lack of a permanent campus, complained Dharamshala MLA Vishal Nehria

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