The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP) has picked pace with 61 per cent of the project affected persons (PAPs) accepting the additional land compensation package of Rs 22.5 lakh per hectare since March this year.
According to Sandeep Singhroy,director,JNPP,of the total 2,336 khatedars or land title holders,1,484 have collected the land compensation cheques so far. While the figure stood at less than 300 PAPs till March this year,it saw a sharp increase after the state government approved the additional ex-gratia payment of Rs 22.5 lakh per hectare in February this year,as recommended by a state government-appointed committee based on market rates. Of the 1,484 who have opted for the compensation,1,423 have taken the ex-gratia payment so far.
The numbers are increasing by the week. There is a general encouragement among the people after the announcement of the ex-gratia amount and the progress of accepting cheques is satisfactory, Singhroy said.
The ex-gratia amount of Rs 22.5 lakh per hectare is reported to be more than 80 times the original amount. While land for the project was acquired at different rates,NPCIL sources said the initial payments were as low as Rs 25,000 per hectare.
The land acquisition amount was earlier fixed at Rs 14.77 crore as per the Land Acquisition Act. But the NPCIL has now earmarked an additional Rs 211 crore as ex-gratia payment,following the panels recommendations.
A total of 938.026 hectares (692.311 hectares for the plant site and 245.715 hectares for the residential complex) has been acquired for the project. The state government handed over possession of the land to the NPCIL in 2010.
The rehabilitation package agreement,signed between the state government and NPCIL in October 2010,also requires NPCIL to provide Rs 2 crore per village for civic amenities and Rs 25 lakh per village per year for maintenance. The maintenance amount will be increased by 10 per cent every three years.
NPCIL has also agreed to provide permanent employment to one person from each project-affected family in Group C or Group D categories if they are qualified for the post. If the person is not qualified or the family does not want the job,NPCIL will make a one-time payment of Rs 5 lakh per family in lieu of employment.
The package includes cash compensation 750 days minimum agricultural wage to families of those who have become landless post-acquisition,500 days wage to marginal land owners,375 days wage for small land owners,and 625 days minimum agricultural wage to agricultural labourers or other labourers who are dependent on the land.
The project has been facing protests from villagers of the affected areas in Madban,Niveli,Mithgavhane and Karel.