Relief for canal-affected and dam-displaced not same: Apex court (Lead)

August 2nd, 2011 - 10:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday said people in Madhya Pradesh affected by the canal network of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar dams were not entitled to the same rehabilitation package as given to those displaced by the submergence caused by the dams constructed on the Narmada.

The people whose lands had been acquired for the canal network may, however, be accommodated and given a good compensation at market prices, said an apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B.S. Chauhan.

The bench set aside the Nov 11, 2009 verdict of the Madhya Pradesh High Court that asked the state government to pay the same relief package to the people affected by the laying of the canal network of the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar projects as was given to those displaced by the submergence caused by the Narmada valley dams.

The Indira Sagar Dam was completed in 2005 and the Omkareshwar Dam was completed in 2007.

The high court also restrained the state government from acquiring lands for the canal network of India Sagar and Omkareshwar projects till an approval by the environment and forests ministry.

This part of the high court’s direction was stayed by the apex court Feb 25, 2010, permitting excavation, construction and acquisition of lands.

Justice Chauhan said: “It was not permissible for the high court to take a view contrary to the view taken by this court, particularly, when the high court came to the conclusion that there was a reasonable differential between the two.”

“This court has taken a view that the canal-affected persons cannot be put at par with the submergence-affected persons,” the judgment said.

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