30 January 2007

Dam Project

The livelihood of tribal people of Keel Shenbagathoppu village, whose lands have been acquired for the construction of a Dam across the Kamandalaru near Polur in Tiruvannamalai District, is in limbo, as many of them have already spent the compensation paid by the Government, even before the construction of the Dam has been finished.

Government authorities, who visited the village to acquire the land for the project 5 years ago, reportedly promised the villagers to provide alternative land, but the only thing they offered was Rs.430 per cent of land (i.e. U.S.$10 with one acre coming to U.S.$1,000). Around 100 families, whose land had been acquired or whose land would be submerged in the rising water, were stripped of their livelihood and homes with no guarantee of reasonable rehabilitation.

Petitions have been submitted to the Collector of Tiruvannamalai District, seeking a halt on the Dam project. Apart from the land acquired, pieces of land of many others would be submerged or become unsuitable for crop cultivation once the water level rose in the Dam. Besides the loss of actual land many people would be also losing their homes.

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