THE STANDING-IN-WATER agitation in Karanpura village of Harda district since September 22 by the project-affected people (PAP), who were protesting against ‘gross mistakes’ in survey and inadequate compensation to those affected with the backwaters of Indira Sagar Project, ended Thursday night.
“A total of 722 people were to receive compensation. The sanction for all of them has come and we have actually deposited cheques for almost 90 per cent of these people. Satisfied, they have ended the agitation last night,” Harda district Collector Bharatkumar Vyas told Hindustan Times over phone.
Following the High Court directives, Grievance Redressal Authority chairman Ravi Sharma and NHDC personnel toured several villages in Harda and Khandwa districts. “They visited Karanpura and Lotia villages in Harda district before moving to Khandwa villages,” Vyas said adding, “They met the agitating villages and also others from the nearby areas.”
In the meantime, the NHDC along with the Harda Collectorate has started a survey for minor corrections, he said. “This would include 13 villages and about 30 hectares of additional land being submerged would also be included in this,” the Harda Collector added.
Many houses in Karanpura were submerged after the ISP water level was increased following the recent clearance by the HC. There were many areas where the water level had increased by more than 2-3 metre than what was expected and many areas, that were not expected to be submerged, also went under water, prompting nearly 600-650 PAPs to start an agitation standing in the backwaters since September 22.
In response to the petitions filed by the PAPs demanding reverting the ISP water level to 255 metre and allegations of misappropriation in compensation distribution, the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Jabalpur, had on September 26 asked the GRA chairman to visit the areas personally and also ordered NHDC to deposit Rs 2 crore with the High Court towards compensation.
The High Court had also asked the GRA chairman to video-shoot the visit and submit a report by September 29. The next hearing would be on October 4. Earlier, on September 7, the High Court had allowed the ISP to raise the water level
to 260 metre.