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Himachal

Posted at: Mar 9, 2018, 1:23 AM; last updated: Mar 9, 2018, 1:23 AM (IST)

Will work for Pong Dam oustees rehab, says CM

Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 8

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today assured the House that the issue of rehabilitation of the Pong Dam oustees would be expedited. He would take it up with Rajasthan Chief Minister after the session

Replying to a query by independent MLA Hoshiyar Singh during Question Hour, he said 20,722 families had been uprooted of which 12,041 had been granted land. He said land allotment for re-settlement in 4,128 had been cancelled. “It is unfortunate that the issue of re-settlement of the Pong Dam oustees is pending even today, but I assure the House that it will be expedited,” he said.

He said he had taken up the matter with his Rajasthan counterpart, Vasundhra Raje Scindia during a meeting in Delhi on February 28. “After the budget session, I will speak to her and, if possible, meet her so that the long-pending issues of the affected families can be resolved,” he said.

Thakur admitted that at times the Himachal Government had been lax in providing names, address and other details of the left-out oustees. “There is also another problem that many of the oustees do not wish to move to the allotted areas because of psychological and cultural factors,” he said.

Rakesh Pathania drew the attention of the Chief Minister towards misuse of money meant for rehabilitation of oustees and the fact that some of the oustees were being threatened and forged wills being prepared. “The people are aggrieved that they got uprooted to pave way for the Pong Dam yet their problems were not being addressed,” he said.

Rakesh Singha, CPM MLA, also urged the Chief Minister to ensure that the distress cost being paid in the form of 12 per cent distress power is used for oustees benefit.

Replying to a query raised by Col Inder Singh and Sukh Ram regarding afforestation, Forest Minister Govind Thakur said that the endeavour of the Forest Department was to ensure that quality saplings, raised in 728 department nurseries, were planted and taken care of for better survival.

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