Reported by Chinmaya Dehury/Edited by Swetaparna Mohanty
Bhubaneswar, Aug 27:
The state government has directed Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL) to ‘immediately’ distribute one-time cash assistance in lieu of employment to those who were displaced by the port project.
In view of the inordinate delay that has already taken place in payment of the amount, which was originally scheduled to be disbursed by 2007-08, the government has directed the company to take pro-active steps in this regard.
“Necessary action may be taken (for submitting one-time cash settlement money with district collector) immediately under intimation to this department. This may be treated as most urgent,” the Commerce and Transport department wrote in a letter to the Dhamra port authorities recently.
DPCL officials said the company had already absorbed 75 land losers as its employees and will pay compensation money in lieu of jobs to 48 more project affected persons towards one-time cash settlement as per the state’s rehabilitation and resettlement policy
“The money was sanctioned on Monday. We hope it will be distributed among them within the next 15 days through the district collectorate”, said an official of DPCL.
The one-time cash compensation in lieu of jobs is being provided under the guidelines of the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Policy, 2007. In September 2012, the district collectorate decided that those who lost their houses and farm land in the area, would be compensated at the rate of paid Rs 7.48 lakh per hectare towards one-time cash settlements in lieu of job.
Dhamra port, a 50:50 joint venture of Tata steel and L&T, has displaced 126 families for the first phase of the project. It started its commercial operations in 2011.
Recently, the state government had asked the company and the district collector to provide jobs to local youth in the port project after some youth had submitted a memorandum to Chief Secretary seeking his intervention in the matter.