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JULY 2018-NATIONAL NEWS
Special report by NCST on Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People presented to president
Dr. Nand Kumar Sai, Chairperson, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), presented a special report of the Commission on “Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Affected Tribal People” to the President of India Ramnath Kovind.
The report and recommendations are under Article 338A(5)(e) of the Constitution on the measures to be taken by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for the effective implementation of constitutional safeguards and other measures for the protection, welfare and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Tribes who are affected on account of Polavaram Irrigation Project, Andhra Pradesh.
Recommendations of the commission are as follows:
The state government should provide only land fit for agriculture to PDFs/PFs within the command area of Polavaram Irrigation Project with proper irrigation as the alternative land given to them in lieu of the acquired land is not cultivable - either it is rocky terrain or there is no water.
The Commission noted that many ST people without land holdings were also shifted. They were hitherto depending on minor forest produces for their livelihood. Now that they are shifted, they are deprived of their livelihood. The State Government needs to take care of them by providing alternative means of livelihood.
The Commission recommended that the destroyed houses should be re-built immediately to mitigate the sufferings of ST people.
The compensation packages in respect of Polavaram Irrigation project need to be revised on suo-moto basis by the Government of Andhra Pradesh keeping in view the observations and modalities suggested by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India.
The Commission feels that a similar scheme as per the above Supreme Court order will help the Scheduled Tribe people affected by Polavaram Irrigation Project as their right to fair compensation.
Further, the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act be kept in mind and used to the advantage of the tribals in the best possible manner.
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