[ Karyir Riba ]
ROING, 8 Feb: The Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society (IMCLS) has pressed for urgent resolution of the NHPC-DMP compensation issue, and has raised concern over the petitions filed by the NHPC in the high court, “dismissing the liability to pay compensation” to the affected people on the ground of the project site being under the unclassified state forest (USF) category.
The IMCLS subcommittee and the DMP (NHPC) Compensation Redressal Cell (CRC) has submitted a memorandum to the chief minister regarding the matter, while also addressing various grievances of the project affected families (PAF), caused due to the lackadaisical attitude of the NHPC towards the PAFs.
President CRC Bishen Mepo expressed great displeasure over the matter and said, “Despite staunchly opposing the dam construction during the period of 2008-2013, the local populace reluctantly accepted the project following relentless persuasion by the state government and the NHPC with assurances of all necessary initiations to allay all key concerns of the locals, one of them being rightful compensation claims of the affected people.
“However, after the project was given a go-ahead by the union cabinet, the NHPC has backtracked on its promises and have filed petition after petition in the high court, very conveniently calling the lands of our ancestors as USF and claiming that the payment of compensation is ‘non-payable’. By saying this, they are not only trying to deprive the PAFs of their rights, but have also hurt our community sentiments,” Mepo further said.
The apex body opined that “the DMP will necessarily bring huge advantage not only to our state but to the nation as a whole. Nevertheless, such a necessity must not be at the cost of the rightful claims of the people. The whole scenario created by the NHPC on the compensation issue is clearly a fraud played on innocent people. If compensation was not supposed to be paid, all the land measurements and calculations of cost to be paid was a mere hoodwink in order to dupe the unsuspecting reluctant community as a whole.”
The IMCLS added, “To drive away people off their lands and off their homes, to drown the rich diversity and memories associated with the place, to mislead the people on compensation, and eventually to promise all necessary help and arrangements, and then failing to deliver on those promises after unsuspecting people agree to their preposition, is total misdemeanour and inappropriate for such an organization of repute.”