Approach towards R & R
Dam-Submergence of Land
The implementation of the Sardar Sarovar (Narmada) Project necessarily compels the submergence of land. The three states of MP, Maharashtra and Gujarat are being affected by pondage and backwater effect, and collectively, about 37533 hectares of land will come under submergence. In Gujarat, the dam construction involves the relocation of 4728 families from the 19 villages. The oustees in the State are by and large from tribal communities. It is expected that a total 41440 families will be affected by the Sardar Sarovar Project at the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 138.68 m, which may increase due to recent Judgement of Hon. Supreme Court.
Approach to Resettlement
The displacement and relocation of oustee families is a complex process that brings about manifold changes in the lives of the affected families. Resettlement is accompanied by changes in the economic environment as well as in the social fabric of the new location. Risks are inevitably involved and what is important is that the relocation be administered in a humane and sensitive manner.
Since the migrations are involuntary, utmost care needs to be taken to avoid any kind of adverse change in the levels of living of the oustee families. The harmonious integration of project-affected families into the new settlement is the cornerstone of a successful R&R package
The Award and the R&R
The norms for resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) were decided by the NWDT and the R&R package offered in Gujarat. The state of Gujarat has liberalized the R&R package recommended by the Tribunal, and so far, it remains one of the most liberal rehabilitation packages in the country
The underlying principle on which the Gujarat R&R package hinges is that the economic conditions of the affected families should improve significantly after rehabilitation.
Today, most commitments made by Gujarat towards R&R have been fulfilled. New settlers in host villages are fairly satisfied with the package. The State has gone at lengths to ensure that amenities and provisions such as education, roads, transport, and health care are effectively delivered to the Project Affected Families (PAFs). As a result, the displaced communities have been able to experience far better general living conditions in their new settlements.