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GRA chairman in Harda

EVEN AS the agitation continues at Karanpura village of Harda district for proper compensation, Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) chairman Ravi Sharma reached Harda this evening, after the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday asked him to visit the areas submerged due to the increased water level of Indira Sagar Project dam in Harda district ? where hundreds of PAPs are standing in water since September 22..

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 15:12 IST

EVEN AS the agitation continues at Karanpura village of Harda district for proper compensation, Grievance Redressal Authority (GRA) chairman Ravi Sharma reached Harda this evening, after the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday asked him to visit the areas submerged due to the increased water level of Indira Sagar Project dam in Harda district — where hundreds of PAPs are standing in water since September 22..

In response to the petitions filed by the PAPs demanding reverting the ISP water level to 255 M and allegations of misappropriation in compensation distribution, the High Court had yesterday asked the GRA chairman to visit the areas personally and also ordered NHDC to deposit Rs 2 crore with the High Court.

Nearly 17 houses in Karanpura village of Harda district were submerged after the ISP water level was increased following the recent clearance by the HC. At approx 257 M three days ago, not just the houses were inundated with backwater, there were many areas where the water level had increased by more than 2-3 metres than what was expected and many areas which were not expected to be submerged have also gone under water, NBA office sources said from Khandwa.

“Protesting this gross failure in survey and improper compensation to the PAPs, nearly 600-650 people had begun their agitation standing in the waters since September 22,” NBA sources said.

 Harda Collector Bharat Vyas said “I had visited the village yesterday with my team. But we were unable to convince the people to stop their agitation. Now, we can only hope to receive funds soon so as to give out compensation amount to the concerned aggrieved people.”

A total of 722 people were to receive compensation out of which 320 people have been paid the amount. The process to hand over compensation cheques to the rest had started last week but there were certain hurdles, he said.

The Director (Rehabilitation) himself had visited Karanpura on September 20 and held a meeting, which was attended by more than 200 people. Stating that there would be no re-survey of the whole submergence area, he, however, said that he had asked the Harda and Khandwa Collectors to make a fresh survey of the actual submergence in those villages.

“GRA chairman Ravi Shukla and a member have already reached Harda this evening and would visit Karanpura tomorrow morning,” Vyas told HT from Harda.

The High Court has also asked the GRA chairman to video-shoot the visit and submit a report by September 29. The next hearing would be on October four. As recently as September seven, the High Court had allowed the ISP to raise the water level to 260 M. But soon after the water level reached 258 M on September 21, many areas, which were not supposed to be submerged, were inundated.