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Rehabilitation and Compensation demanded for homeless families due to Teesta Stage - III dam project

Rehabilitation and Compensation demanded for homeless families due to Teesta Stage - III dam project
Mukesh Sharma: The Teesta Samajik Sangharsa Samiti (TSSS) has demanded proper rehabilitation of those families who have been made homeless due to Teesta Stage - III dam project. The organization has also demanded proper and adequate compensation for those families who have had to lose their lands partially and their source of earning.
Accusing the district administration of neglecting the plight and sufferings of the locals completely, the TSSS yesterday presented a memorandum to the Sub-Divisional officer in Kalimpong, and requested him to take up the matter to the higher level immediately.
Speaking to the press Mr. Shyam Gurung Coordinator for TSSS said that the locals have suffered a lot and there has been no effort on the part of authorities to assist the families who not only lost their land but also livelihood. He said that people here were entirely dependent on the river and around 500 families have lost their livelihood source due to the dam. He said additional 500 youth have lost their job and income source as the dam has severely damaged rafting business in Teesta. He further said that most local families were dependent on these labourers, tourists and rafters for their business, even they are suffering, and thus NHPC needs to provide proper compensation for them.

Another TSSS coordinator Mr. Bishal Rai said, "we have been gathering information on dams and related issues for the past 2 years, and through various RTIs we have found out that the Government of India has proper provisions listed out for those who are negatively harmed due to Dams under the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Project (NRRP).

NHPC has provided proper and adequate rehabilitation and compensations under this schemes to people in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and other mountainous states across India, and they have also assisted in providing development of those regions.

But here in Darjeeling, those suffering due to Teesta Stage- III have been discriminated against, and NHPC has only completed 3 to 4% of their actual responsibilities."

Accusing that the ruling parties in power [GJM and TMC] are in cahoots with NHPC because of which the locals in Teesta are suffering, the coordinators have said that their sufferings have crossed all limits of patience, and now they are ready and willing to hit the streets in search of justice.

They have reqeusted all the political parties, social and environmental organizations, individuals to support them in their quest for justice.

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