Odisha News Insight

CAG raps Odisha Government over Land Acquisition Policy

CAGThe Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has rapped the Odisha government for ineffective monitoring of R&R (rehabilitation & resettlement) activities, due to which displaced people had to suffer after losing their land to industries. CAG in its report on ‘General and Social Sector for the year ended March 2014’, which came out Thursday, observed that due to lax monitoring, absence of proper planning and inadequate survey, benefits did not reach the affected people.

“Performance Audit revealed instances of benefits not reaching the affected people for a host of reasons. As a result, 798 project displaced families in respect of 13 industrial projects displaced during 1992-2013 were not properly rehabilitated and full benefits due to them were not extended,” said the report. The report said that complete database in respect of the number of people affected, displaced and employment provided were not available either at department or at district level.

It further said socio-economic surveys intended as guides and basis for preparation of R&R plans were not conducted in the respect of 14 industrial projects on subsequent acquisition of land. “Creation of awareness among the affected families through well defined comprehensive communication plans, was lacking. Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committees (RPDAC) constituted for respective projects to approve R&R planning and its implementation for affected people left gaps in their functioning,” said the report.

RPDAC did not review decisions leaving large number of issues unaddressed, the report pointed out. The audit agency revealed that employment or one-time cash compensation was not provided to 588 project displaced families by industries. There were cases of inadequate health facility, absence of piped water supply, absence of street light, road facility, non-provision of pond, etc. Periphery development fund was lying unutilised with collectors of three districts, said the report. Project authorities did not conduct environmental impact assessment including adequate arrangements for the management of factory effluents. (IANS)

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