Monday, August 18, 2008

Arunachal introduces Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2008

As if to pacify the agitating anti-Dam activists in the state, the Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu announced framing of ‘Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2008’ during his independence day speech, which claims to be far more beneficial than that of the national policy. The salient features of the policy are (source Arunachal Front and The Arunachal Times):

  1. Ex-gratia grant of Rs. 50,000/- to each affected family rendered landless after acquisition and Rs. 40,000/- to each affected family who are left with land less than one hectare after acquisition.
  2. Allotment of agricultural land subject to a maximum of 1 Ha of irrigated land or 2 Ha of un-irrigated land subject to availability of government land in lieu of affected agricultural land and remaining cultivable land will be compensated @ Rs. 1.75 lakhs/Ha.
  3. Community shall be compensated @ Rs. 1.56 Lakhs/Ha for loss of customary rights and privileges of tribal people to collect and use forest produce (traditional land use) from unclassed state forests (USF) and @ Rs 0.78 Lakhs/Ha from Reserved Forest Land. In addition to this, the community will be paid a sum equivalent to 25 percent of Net Present Value (NPV) of the USF, as decided by the government of India from time to time, in case of diversion of USF as compensation towards extinction of their traditional rights over USF land use.
  4. A plot of 250 m2 of land in rural areas or 150 m2 of land in urban areas and a free of cost house or one time financial assistance of Rs. 2.50 Lakhs for construction of house to affected family.
  5. Basic amenities like safe drinking water supply, drinking water for cattle, one toilet each per 3 affected families, rain water harvesting device, sewage treatment plant including drainage system, domestic lighting, shopping complex including fair price shops, public health centers, community center, school complex with playground, children’s playground, burial/cremation ground, roads etc. shall be provided in the resettlement site for affected families in the event of involuntary displacement.
  6. Rs. 1.00 Lakh (minimum) one time livelihood or rehabilitation grant per affected family.
  7. Financial assistance of Rs. 20,000/- as a transportation grant to displaced family for transportation of their household goods, cattle etc., to resettlement site.
  8. One time financial assistance of Rs. 25,000/- to displaced rural artisan, small trader or self-employed person for re-setting up of their shops in the resettlement site.
  9. Scholarship and other skill development opportunities to eligible person/s of the affected family.
  10. Free 100 units of electricity per month for 10 years from the date of commissioning of Hydro-Electric Project.
  11. 25 % job reservation in managerial/professional post, 50% job reservation in ministerial/clerical post and 25% and 75% job reservation in skilled and unskilled categories respectively in the Hydroelectric Project implementing companies for local tribal people; subject to candidates fulfilling the job requirement.
  12. Pension of Rs. 500/- per month for life to vulnerable affected person such as widows, unmarried adult women, all those above 50 years of age without family support.
The framing of RRP-08 is an welcome move by the government for the affected families of mega projects, though it has come all too late after the state government has rampantly signed MoA with various Hydro-power Developers-both Private and PSU's to execute 53 hydroelectric power projects with a total installed capacity of 26,000 MW (Source: Arunachal Front). Considering the fact that rehabilitation and resettlement is an inevitable part of any mega projects, the government should have come up with his policy earlier; when it knew since two decades back that the state had immense hydro-power potential and that one day or the other it has to be tapped.

Now, it has made me wonder, why was it formulated now? Was it formulated to pacify the anti-dam agitators as I expressed in the preceding paras? Or was it to show that 'people's interest' comes first while formulating any development activities as was put forward by CM during his Independence Day Speech.

"Since "People First" is the watchword of my government we cannot jeopardize the life of the people and their means of livelihood by building dams. If affected people do not want dams in their area, we will not have it. But the affected people should not allow themselves to be dictated by outsiders in the name of misplaced environmentalist", the Chief Minister said in his speech.
-The Arunachal Times

But then, why this policy was not thought of prior to rampantly signing of MoA's with various Hydro power developers? Will it be ethical on the part of government to scrap the MoA signed in the event of affected people not wanting dam in their area as put forward by CM? What about sanctity of the Contract? Was it the case of short-sightedness on the part of the government?

Now, it would be interesting to watch how the government plans to introduce this policy in the MoA's already signed without diluting the sanctity of MoA.


  • Rome Mele

    It becomes quite evident, if all events post-MOUs signing are taken cue of. It is just a grave reminder of what & how the whole Legislation of Arunachal is simply about being " reactive" rather than "sensitive or say anticipative". Abject mockery of what we call - "free rights" to air our voice or protest.

    Ya, there has been couple of Anti Dam agitation(bandhs) in Roing, even Deputy Commissioner and other government bodies abiding to it. But, freedom to protest simply gets nullified by none-worthiness attributes of the same, tagged by insensible, greedy politicians we have in plenty. Out protests means nothing, until and unless we have politicians backing the same. And why would they even?
    Rich people, Rich life...they don't need to be rehabilitated nor compensated.
    But, the irony lies in here - It's their(Politicians)acts that makes Rehab & compensation policies a must, for any big thing to take place. Big things - means big money... and we know, what makes them wag their tail. No prize for Guessing...

    Anyway... Arunachali politicians - Good strategy. Kudos...
    "Kick them out - and Rehab them elsewhere"

    My one wish, if they could be rehabilitated somewhere, far from Arunachal - Ya, Khandu and his chamchas.


    Why cant the government come with proper plans and policies for development of state rather than RR policy just to pacify the agitating people.

    people have been agitating expressing fear of large dams and not fighting for better RR policy. GOvt simply cant understand this.

    and when they say protestors are dictated by environmentalists...wonder...if govt is not dicated by power builders...or to say of their greed....

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