Land Acquisition


Dr D. G. Kadkade Chief Adviser Jaiprakash Associates Ltd New Delhi

In the last decade it has been seen that a large number of hydro projects have undergone severe delays arising out of Land Acquisition (LA) and Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R). The result of this has been that even the sites which were earmarked for reservoir projects four decades ago are slowly changing by transferring them into run-of-the-river projects. A recent instance of this is Kotli Behl Hydro Power Project of 900 MW on river Ganga in Uttara Khand, which was conceived to be a reservoir project with a concrete dam of 215 m height. Due to anticipated problems of LA and R&R, this project was broken up into three parts by making three run-of-the-river schemes instead of a storage project thereby resulting in allowing about 2.6 billion cumecs water going into Bay of Bengal. Such situations, if not dealt with in time, will create non-availability of water for drinking, irrigation and industrial purposes. It is therefore necessary that the problem of Land Acquisition and Resettlement & Rehabilitation be dealt with utmost priority so that we can have adequate reservoirs in the country for purposes of drinking water and supply of water for irrigation and industrial use in addition to generation of power. Reservoir projects, apart from making available supply of water and generation of power, could also ease transfer of Ganga and Brahmaputra waters to drought-prone areas of southern states by interlinking the rivers. In the process of building reservoir projects, there is possibility of submergence of archeological and religious monuments. There are many instances in the world where temples, mosques and churches were shifted to higher areas like in Aswan dam in Egypt, projects in China, Nagarjuna Sagar dam and Srisailam project in Andhra Pradesh etc. We must adopt this concept so that shifting of...