Bisalpur: rehab problems

An agitation against the O"pur dam (at the cortfluence of Banas and Dal II Tonk district Rajasthan, has not @etl@, a sympathetic chord with the stake govem- ment The dam, which envisages providing drinking water to several districts besides irrigating 1.7 larkh ha of land, will affect 70,000 People.

The gisatpur Project Affected Coordination Committee Is spearheading the agi- tation. According to it, the farmers are being paid much less than the prevailing market rates for their land. No compen ' satory land Is available for the landless, while the adult sons and daughters have been loft out of the compensation pack- age. Also neglected, are the fisherfolks who 'lived off the rivers, Besides the human factors, the heavy slitation rate In the rivers threatens to shorten the actual Iffei of the dam, reducing the perceived benefits from it. No provision has been made for afforestation of the 152 ha of forests which the dam would submerge.

Despite dear guidelines by the Centre on organising rehabilitation before construction, the state government has gone ahead with the construction of the dam, unn,driciful of the plight of the oustees, 70 per tent of whom belong to scheduled tact" and tribes.