PAC expresses displeasure over delay in compensation payment

[ Karyir Riba ]

ANINI, 23 Sep: The Project Affected Committee (PAC) under the Anon-Pani SHEP project in Dibang Valley district has expressed displeasure over the delay in payment of compensation to the project-affected families (PAF) against the land acquired for the 22 mw Anon-Pani small hydroelectric project (SHEP), which is being built by Jindal Power Limited (JPL), mainly to provide construction power to the Etalin HEP.

According to the PAC, a plot of land measuring 28.76 hectares, belonging to the Taru and Tayu clans of Aunli and Aroko villages of Etalin circle, had been acquired for the project a long time back.

“MoA and MoU were signed by the project proponent (JPL) and the state government (APHEPCL) for construction of the said project on 4 April, 2013. Accordingly, the land acquisition process was completed vis-à-vis the entire administrative process were completely done by the deputy commissioner Anini, which were later on notified in the gazette of the state government. The draft award was also approved vide a letter dated 22 February, 2016.

“However, the seven years’ delay in project execution has put us in a great dilemma of whether we can continue practicing our jhum cultivation, or erect any structure for that matter, on our own land,” it said.

According to the PAC, JPL deposited Rs 2 crore 87 lakhs into the account of the CAMPA, New Delhi, for CA activities against the Anon-Pani SHEP in 2017.

The PAC has written a letter to the power and land management commissioner, the land management secretary, the Hydropower Development Corporation secretary, the HPDCAPL CMD, and the Dibang Valley DC regarding the matter.

“We demand immediate release of one-third of the compensation amount as per Section 41 of LAAR Act, 2013, in compliance with the DC Anini’s Letter No DVA/CC/194/14-15 8520-21, dated Anini, 22 February, 2016. We demand payment of interest over the awarded compensation amount as per the provision of the Act. In case of the project being abandoned, we demand that the damages should be paid by the state government as per the LAAR Act, 2013,” it said.

“The beneficiaries should be apprised of and intimidated regarding the government’s stand on whether JPL or the SJVN will be taking up the project. Statutory clearance (second stage forest clearance) should also be immediately sought from the MoEF and CC GoI, New Delhi, to expedite the seven years delayed SHEP,” the PAC said.

It said that it would resort to a democratic movement, or seek scrapping of the project if the PAFs’ demands are not met by the authority concerned at the earliest, “in which case, the PAFs will have to be paid damages suffered by them by the state government, as per Section 93 of the LAAR Act, 2013.”