Principal Secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management department, C S Kumar has written a letter to the district collector of Jharsuguda in this regard and forwarded copies of to the collectors of Sambalpur, Bargarh and Sonepur districts for appropriate steps.
The matter has to be resolved through field enquiry and concerned officials conducting enquiry shall not exclusively depend on relevant documents, the letter said.
More than 200 villages were submerged due to the construction of Hirakud Dam and around 22,000 families were affected, while about 19,000 families were displaced. However, the government provided 287.14 acres homestead and 8468 acres agricultural land to only 2243 families, sources said.
No step was taken for rehabilitation of the remaining affected people.
In the absence of rehabilitation measures, around 15,000 families started cultivating the unutilised land, acquired for the dam, besides other government land in the periphery of the Hirakud Dam reservoir. The remaining families settled themselves in undivided Sambalpur, Sundergarh and Bolangir districts besides some parts of neighbouring Chhattisgarh, they said.
Subsequently, the government provided DC Patta of 2 acres of waste land to each family residing on the periphery of Hirakud Dam Reservoir. The government provided the land, which were acquired for the dam but remained unutilised, to those families on lease for agriculture purpose.
However, the government is yet to settle the land provided on lease basis to the displaced families.
The people, who had got land on lease in 1959, had been paying land cess till 1990. However, the government issued an order for settlement of those lands in 1990. Subsequently, the lands were transferred to the revenue department from Water Resource Department in 2014 to allot patta to the concerned farmers.
But despite the instructions of the government, settlement of those lands is yet to be done.
The Principal Secretary stated in his letter that by following the instructions issued way back in 1990, the land should have been settled in favour of awardees by now.
"If any issue is still persisting, it is due to the negligence of the concerned officers. Such officials may be identified and proceeded against," he said in his letter.
Steps may be taken to complete the task by following instructions given earlier, he said seeking expeditious steps to settle the long pending issue in a time bound manner and report compliance by June 30, 2018.
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