Umtru hydroelectric project: Compensation Delay Irks Land Owners

Shillong,May 16: The 40-MW Umtru hydroelectric project which was laid by the then Chief Minister D.D Lapang in 2007 in view that the power pool will help in managing the starved power scenario of the state has aggrieved over the apathetic attitude of MeECL in releasing the land compensation to the land owners whose land were acquired for construction of the New Umtru Hydro Electric Project.
Land owners and farmers under the banner of Hill Farmers’ Union affected by the New Umtru Hydel Electric Project (NUHEP) at Dehal, Ri Bhoi, have demanded compensation for land from MeECL and regularisation of 22 casual employees working for the project. Addressing to reporters on Monday, a land owner on condition of anonymity said, land compensation for farmers, who are also the owners of the agricultural land, has not been paid. According to the agreement made on February 24, 2015, between the land owners and officer-in-charge of NUHEP, MeECL agreed not to raise the water level up to 128m until the Corporation pays compensation, the land owner added.
The Hill Farmers’ Union also stated that MeECL had promised to regularise the casual employees who are working under the project.
Earlier in the day, a delegation led by the president of the union, Commander Shangpliang, met the Joint Secretary of MeECL. The joint secretary is oblivious to the agreement made between us and MeECL, claimed the land owner.
The land owner said, we willingly offered our land as MeECL assured that it would be for the development of the State and a public hearing was also convened in this regard.
The union also demanded that the amount of money for land compensation be raised to Rs 250 per sqm as the earlier rate of Rs 30 per sq. m, agreed upon in 2005, is insufficient for livelihood sustenance, the members said.


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