The Telegraph
Friday , December 14 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

One-time cash to clear power project block

Darjeeling, Dec. 13: The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) will pay around Rs 8 lakh to each of 51 families that had given land for the Ramman Hydel Project, instead of jobs that the company has given other landlosers.

The families will be given the money in January next year.

Sources said the decision to give this one-time cash was taken after residents of Ramman stopped work on a tunnel near the project site.

Over 200 hundred families had given land for the project that generates 31MW after being built in 1989.

“All of them had been given compensation. But apart from that, each family was promised a job. While many did get jobs, these 51 families were not given work by WBSEDCL, which had cited various technical problems,” said Prakash Gurung, GTA Sabha member from Rimbick-Lodhama.

He said some of 51 families had “no direct relation” (with the landloser), while others were too old to be given jobs.

The project built on a 300-acre plot is in Ramman, 60km from Darjeeling.

The decision to give a one-time compensation instead of a job was taken at a meeting between the GTA and WBSEDCL officials at Lal Khoti in Darjeeling yesterday.

“It was decided that each of the families would be given Rs 8 lakh as compensation. It was also agreed that the WBSEDCL would contribute Rs 2 crore for developing the area as a tourist spot and release an additional Rs 1 crore for a drinking water project in the locality,” said Gurung.

The compensation will be distributed between January 10 and 24 during a Krishi Mela that the GTA will hold here.

“We have informed the families about the decision and they are happy. Most of them have crossed the age limit while some died,” Gurung said.

Today, the villagers allowed the officials to resume work.