BJP walk out on ‘rehabilitation of Pong Dam oustees’ issue


Pong dam construction had affected 75,268 acres of land in 339 village, and 226 villages were completely submerged in the Dam, since then the issue of rehabilitation of the oustees is lingering for decades, said Dhumal

Shimla-Agitated over “unsatisfactory” reply on a private member resolution on rehabilitation Pong Dam oustees and rejection of their demand for intervention of the Chief Minister in the reply, BJP state unit today staged a walk out from Vidhan Sabha.

After the reply of Agriculture Minister Sujan sabha Pathania on discussion on the Private Member resolution moved by Ravinder Singh Ravi (BJP), the speaker asked the member whether he would like to withdraw the resolution but Ravi insisted that Chief Minister should intervene in the reply since a number of departments were involved in the issue. When the demand of the BJP members for intervention of Chief Minister in the reply was not met, they staged a walk out.

The Speaker B B L Butail put the resolution to vote in the absence of opposition members and it was defeated by voice vote. Moving the private member resolution, Ravi urged the government to immediate steps to resolve the pending cases for rehabilitation of the oustees who were displaced in early seventies after the construction of the Dam.

Leader of the Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal alleged that not to talk of rehabilitation of the oustees in Rajasthan, even the oustees who did not go to Rajasthan and had made temporary structures in the state were being served notices and reeling under threat of eviction. Asserting that a number of Pong Dam oustees could not shift to Rajasthan due to various reasons, Dhumal said they were still living in the state and have made temporary hutments on private or village common land but they were facing eviction threat.

He said that the issue was lingering for nearly four decades due to interstate wrangling and court arbitration and a large number of oustees, who have not been settled in Rajasthan and pressed that the issue be settled by rising above political considerations. In his reply Agriculture Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said that the Rajasthan government was trying to re-allot the land to them for rehabilitation.

Minister said that 75,268 acres of land in 339 villages was affected by the construction of Pong dam while 226 villages with population of 20,722 people were completely submerged in the Dam. PTI

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