PAFs serve ultimatum over compensation against Hunli-Desali-Meteliang road

[ Karyir Riba ]

ROING, 29 May: The project-affected families (PAF) of the Hunli-Desali-Meteliang road (0 to 20 km) have served a week’s ultimatum to the land management secretary to approve the compensation award for the road’s construction, which is allegedly pending for the last nine years.

In a letter to the secretary, the PAFs said that, in the event that their demand is not met within the timeframe, “the affected people will be compelled to initiate indefinite agitation through democratic means until the compensation matter is resolved.”

“We have been made to believe that until and unless we do not resort to democratic means, our genuine grievances will only go unheard and unseen. Hence, in order to fight for our right, we have only been left to choose the path of agitation,” they said.

The PAFs accused the government of violating the Land Acquisition Act as, reportedly, the formation cutting for the road project has already been completed despite compensation not having been paid.

They informed that, “although the award has already been passed by the government, final approval for the same is still pending.

“The user agency is willing to release the compensation amount. Due official process has also been completed at the district level. On 28 April, the state government had directed the Lower Dibang Valley district administration to make corrections in its official format, which was done and the file resent to the state government.

“Despite all these facts, the state government has been delaying the issue for no valid reasons. Moreover, there also exists an OM issued by the chief secretary for ‘early disposal of files’ within seven working days, which has also been ignored for years now.

“In the month of March, when we had raised the issue, we were assured that the matter would be resolved in a month’s time. The time has already passed but the matter is still pending without any valid or technical difficulties/reasons,” they said.

“This only leaves us to believe that the delay is being made to harass and deprive the land-affected people of the area, thereby discriminating us from other districts in the state in terms of compensation issues.

“We have waited for nine long years and now we are all set to fight for our rights, for what is lawfully ours,” they said.