• Info@cfdra.in

Displacement Caused Due to Construction of Upper Kolab Hydro Electricity Project

Prepared by: Hitabhilash Mohanty, LLM in Human Rights

BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT

Upper Kolab Hydro Electric Project, Located in the district of Koraput (Odisha) was taken up for excavation in the year 1976 by the Irrigation and Power Department, Govt .of Odisha at an estimated cost of Rs. 74.63 Crores. This Project is utilising the water potential of river ‘KOLAB’ a tributary of river Godavari. It is a multipurpose project amied at Generation of 95MW(firm) Hydro Electric Power, providing irrigation facilities to 47,985 H.A. by lift canal irrigation and suppling drinking water to Damonjodi, Koraput, sunabeda and Jeypore town. The Project work was completed in two stages i.e. STAGE-I & STAGE-II.

For the purpose of commencement of the Project the required land was acquired (details of the acquired land; details of the displaced persons and the compensation paid to them is mentioned below) resulting in displacement from four villages namely Khilaput, Koraput, Khaparaput and Kelchagaon and were shifted to Four Camps in Kotpad Block of Koraput District namely, Camp-4a, Camp 4B, Camp 6 and Camp 7 respectively.

BRIEF HISTORY

Preliminary investigations for the project were carried out by the Goverment of Madras before April 1936. At that time Koraput district was a part of Madras Presidency and subsequently detailed investigations were carried out by Govt. of Odisha after 1961. The present proposal was finalised after investigating several proposals with alternative dam sites and water conductor systems. The power project was approved by the Planning Commission during August 1975 and irrigation project in June 1976.

Table – 1: Detailed information on rehabilitation of U.K.H.E.P Koraput

Number of Displaced PersonsRemarks
S.TS.C.GeneralTotal 
144345912783180Have already been paid rehabilitation grant
401286138Governments in W/R Department have been moved for sanctions of Rehabilitation Grant of Rs. 1937502.00 vide this office letter No. 760, dated. 28.08.2002
148347113643318

Table – 2: Land based Resettlement for agriculture and horticulture

ST199@ Ac.3.00 per Displaced PersonAc. 597.00
SC30 @ Ac.3.00 per Displaced PersonAc. 90.00
General297 @ Ac.3.00 per Displaced PersonAc. 891.00
 Total :Ac.1578.00
 House siteAc.96.99
  Ac. 1674.99

Table – 3: Resettlement of cash grant

ST1244 @ Rs. 1440 /- per Displaced PersonRs. 1,74,65,760.00
SC429 @ Rs. 1440 /- per Displaced PersonRs. 60,23,160.00
General981 @ Rs. 1440 /- per Displaced PersonRs. 1,37,73,240.00
 Total :Rs. 3,72,62,160.00

Table – 4: Rehabilitation grant to be paid to be paid to 138 D.P. As per recommendation of 16th R.A.C.

ST40 @ Rs. 1440 /- per Displaced PersonRs.5,61,600.00
SC12 @ Rs. 1440 /- per Displaced PersonRs.1,68,480.00
General86 @ Rs. 1440 /- per Displaced PersonRs. 12,07,440.00
 TotalRs. 19,37,520.00

Table – 5: Information of displayed families of U.K.H.E.P. Koraput land base resettlement

Camp No.No. of DPSTSCOCTotalArea Allotted
042621982143262Ac. 73423
055700035357Ac. 15550
067600007676Ac. 8679
071310106124131Ac. 48947
Total52619930267526Ac. 7499

Table – 6: Resettled o payment of cash grant

No. of DPSTSCOCTotal
265412444299812654
 000353 
31800000763180
 0106124 

DETAILS OF FIELD STUDY

For the purpose of collection of information regarding the Project, the team of SCSTRTI visited the site of rehabilitation where the displaced persons from the Upper Kolab Project are shifted. The information collected by the fact-finding team is as follows:

CAMP – 6 BAIKUNTHAPUR (01.07.2018) (DISPLACEMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF UPPER KOLAB DAM)

Background Facts

Out of the total of families displaced for the construction of Upper Kolab Dam, 120 families were displaced particularly from Khilaput, Koraput, Khaparaput and Kelchagaon and were shifted to Camp – 6, a remote area in Kotpad District. Initially, it was decided that the displaced villages to be rehabilitated in Mathu (Malkangiri) but later it was shifted to Kotpad Block in Koraput District.

The then Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy

While acquisition of land, the displaced families were duly paid the then assessed market value of land along with 15% solatium in 1981 which was accepted by those displaced. Further, the interaction with the residents of Camp – 6 revealed that those displaced families were promised that ready to move in pucca house will be provided along with agricultural land wherein the water from the Kolab Dam was supposed to be channelized, a community forest was promised to be given for collecting timber and other livelihood purposes. Further, they were also promised that and all the facilities like communication, good roads, education, medical facility, electricity, employment etc. to be provided to them in that new settlement area.

Revealed Outcome

After shifting those displaced families to Camp – 6, they were asked to stay in 10*7 ft temporary structured houses with no wall and tin ceiling. Further, they were asked to built their own houses for which they will be duly paid by the Govt. Hence, those displaced families built their own house (kacha house) by collecting available resources within 3 months. Thereafter, the acting authorities took away the temporary established structured camp and paid nothing to the residents. Moreover, the agriculture land so provided to them is 2 kms far from their settlement and the water canal from Kolab Dam is 3 kms away from their agriculture land and no community forest is provided to them.

Current Status

  • Got the recognition of a village namely ‘Baikunthapur’ on 01.07.2018.
  • Currently, 44 households residing in the village and the rest have migrated to nearby town centres.
  • A primary school providing education till class 5 is built in 2015 where there are 2 teacher having 10-15 students approximately per year.
  • There are three tubewells in the village out of which only one was working which is recently made in February, 2020.
  • People have stolen tins from neighboring areas and have set it as ceiling hence, they are deprived to PM Awas Yojna.
  • Many households do not have pattas (land documents) as the demarcation of the land is not done properly. In 1991 the demarcation was done which mismatched with the demarcation of 2017 and no action is taken since then.
  • As no community forest is provided to those displaced staying in Camp – 6, they are dependent on Chitra Jungle which is 15 kms away for collecting timber and other forest produces. For this reason, the residents of Camp – 6 have to pay some amount in rupees to the watchman appointed by the caretaking village.
  • There is no road connecting village to the main road. People have carved their own path by clearing the jungle.

CAMP – 7 (DISPLACEMENT FOR DEVELOPMENT OF UPPER KOLAB DAM)

Background Facts

Out of the total of families displaced for the construction of Upper Kolab Dam, 100 families approximately were displaced particularly from Biriguda, Tiadiput, Doraput, Baraguda, Khaparaput and Katiaguda between 1986-87 and were shifted to Camp – 7 in Kotpad Block, Koraput. Initially, it was decided that the displaced villages to be rehabilitated in Mathu (Malkangiri) but later it was shifted to Kotpad Block in Koraput District.

The then Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy

While acquisition of land, the displaced families were duly paid the then assessed market value of land along with 15% solatium in 1981 which was accepted by those displaced. It is pertinent to mention herein that not all the families displaced have received the compensation amount for acquisition of their land. Further, the interaction with the residents of Camp – 7 revealed that those displaced families were promised that ready to move in pucca house will be provided along with agricultural land wherein the water from the Kolab Dam was supposed to be channelized, a community forest was promised to be given for collecting timber and other livelihood purposes. Further, they were also promised that and all the facilities like communication, good roads, education, medical facility, electricity, employment etc. to be provided to them in that new settlement area.

Revealed Outcome

After shifting those displaced families to Camp – 6, they were asked to stay in 10*7 ft temporary structured houses with no wall and tin ceiling. Further, they were asked to built their own houses for which they will be duly paid by the Govt. Hence, those displaced families built their own house (kacha house) by collecting available resources within 3 months. Thereafter, the acting authorities took away the temporary established structured camp and paid nothing to the residents. Moreover, the agriculture land so provided to them is 1 km far from their settlement and the water canal from Kolab Dam is 2 kms in the opposite direction from their agriculture land and no community forest is provided to them.

Current Status

  • A total of 200 households approximately belonging to different communities reside in this camp out of which most of the males are dependent upon labourer work for their income.
  • The residents of Camp – 7 are suffering from identity crisis as they are not recognized as a village since its establishment. They are often called as refugees by the neighboring villages.
  • As the community forest is never provided to the residents of Camp – 7, they have always been dependent upon the community forest of other villages for collecting timber and other forest produces. There have been instances of clashes between the residents of Camp -7 and other nearby villagers as they object from entering their community forest. (Instance: In 2001, some residents of Camp – 7 entered the community forest of Dangriguda village for collecting firewood, to which the villagers of Dangriguda village opposed and started physically abusing them and filed a case against the residents of Camp – 7. The residents of Camp – 7 also filed a case against Dangriguda villagers hence, the police interfered into the matter and stayed for 5 days in Camp – 7. After this incident people of Camp 7 village met the Collector of Koraput to seek help for this matter and share their problems regarding their day to day life. But no step has been taken by the Collector to solve this problem).
  • Camp – 7 is well connected to the block headquarters through concrete roads.
  • There is a school in the settlement area established in 2005 providing education till matriculation.
  • Medical van facility is routinely provided to the residents.
  • Approximately, 5 households in Camp -7 settlement area has received Pradhan Mantri Abhas Yojna and still in the process of receiving on a rotation basis.