Ranchi, Jan 4 (ANI): Displacement, a major problem in Central Asia, has, over the "developing" years, spread its roots intensely in Indian sub-continent. It has been 64 long years that its central regions are bearing the brunt of land acquisition for development.
History of the "Land of Forest" Jharkhand is no different rather more difficult. Post Independence, several thousand people from hundreds of villages in Jharkhand were forced to leave their villages, half of which are represented by women.
Like a thread, when powerfully pulled out of a fabric tears it apart, these displaced women who were forced to move from one place to another, were torn apart from their families, culture and above all their identity. Be it Government or non- Government organizations, no one has concrete data regarding these displaced women and no one actually is bothered to identify and rehabilitate them.
However in the recent past, initiatives of few strong women Dayamani Barla, Munni Hansda and Pushpa Aaind, has raised a voice against the tragedy. Barla set a commotion against Mittal and Jindal in Torpa village of Khunti Block. Her agitation forced the culprits to leave the land of hundreds of villagers. Similarly, in Santhal Parangna of Dumka district, Munni Hansda carried out anti- displacement demonstration that led her to jail. In Karkara division of Khunti block, Pushpa Aaind saved her indigenous land from Mittal by creating upheaval against the displacement.
HEC, Bokaro Thermal, Tenughat Dam, Maithan Dam, Kutku Dam, Netarhat Field Firing Range, Koylakaron Hydroelectric Project, Tata Steel, Chandil Dam are the big names which have been the reason behind the displacement of most of the people in Jharkhand that continues to happen till date, latest example being the displaced communities of Islam Nagar and Nagababa Khatal in Ranchi.
Displacement, altogether, is a very cruel process. Over the night, the inhabitants are displaced, houses are run over by bulldozers and the acres of villages are destroyed in a flash. From kids to elders to women, no one is spared. Widows, the silent inhabitants, are worse affected as no one is there to fight for their right and no one bothers to compensate for their land.
More or less, the situation is similar in almost every village of the state that has been dislodged. According to the statistics available, 1981-1985 was the period when various coalmines in the state displaced approx 180000 people, out of which only 11901 people were given the job.
Out of the total displaced families, one family member of only 36.34 percent families got the promised job. There are ample examples to suggest that the excuse of "Development of the country" given for advent of industrialization and mines in the state in reality is linked to the "Development" of big industrialists, selected bureaucrats and contractors and a few big businessmen only. 15 lakh out of 72-90 lakh displaced belong to tribal community. Only 25 percent of the entire unfortunate displaced population was provided with some kind of shelter.
The people displaced by HEC - Ranchi's first industrial unit post liberation, have not been rehabilitated so far. Both state and central government have turned a deaf ear to their cries. Out of 36 villages displaced, 13 were completely destroyed while rest were partially shuffled. In the rehabilitation process, women were left out completely. Not even a single woman was offered job.
The promises given by government before acquiring the land were all crushed. As a result, the helpless relocated families have to live on 10-15 decimal land, which for them is, of course, a cursed life. They have converted the verandas and gardens into graveyard, as they have to live and die on the same small piece of land. Due to this, the social activities and cultural-economical existence of Adivasis is dying. People are forced and bound to forget their language, culture, traditions and customs.
The people of Bokaro have to suffer a lot due to this huge displacement crisis. Bokaro Steel factory engulfed the land of 65 villages while dozens of other villages were moved because of BTPS, CTPS electricity production centers. In pretext of development Tenughat Dam marred the lives of people of 35 villages. Gunpowder factory in Gomiya also destroyed several villages. Now due to the release of Methane gas from the industrial areas has put the future of many villages in danger.
The then Bihar government acquired 31435 acres of land and gave it to Bokaro Steel Plant. Many thousands acres of such land was acquired for rehabilitation. In this spree of land acquisition, lands of small farmers were taken, which was their only asset in life. Houses were destroyed and as compensation a very meager amount was given to them.or every decimal, 25 Paise-25 Rupees was given as compensation and even this small amount failed to reach the right hands especially women. Today, no one knows where these women are.
Jharkhand is the main producer of minerals. In 1973, during nationalization of mines, 80 percent coal production used to be conducted in underground mines. Later, open mines became popular. During 1991-92, 82.8 percent of CCL mines were open cast, which was increased in 1994-95 to 86.7 percent. According to experts, agricultural land is sacrificed for open cast mines.
Electricity is the most important component for industrial development. Fortunately or unfortunately, Jharkhand due to its rich natural resources, offer coal and other components, required for major electricity production purposes.
After 1974, post the inauguration of Damodar Valley Project, hydro-electricity was produced from Tilaiya Dam, Maithan Dam, Panchet Dam, Suwarnarekha Multi-purpose Dam, Mayurakshi Dam etc. Later with coal being used as raw material to produce electricity, Chandrapur Thermal Power, Bokaro Thermal Power, Tenughat Thermal Power, Patratu Thermal Power etc. were developed. This was the zenith for displacement and miseries of the locals. They got displaced from their land and outsiders got employment over it.
Kashinath Kevat tells us, "This is the year of displaced as Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Bill has to be tabled in the Parliament. We can't reject this bill that despite of faults includes good points as well. We formed a forum 'Insaaf' and presented our views on the draft to Prime Minister through a letter. We urged the PM that this law should be applied to all 100-acre land acquisition in rural areas and 50-acre land acquisition in urban areas. Secondly, the Bill's draft makes consent of at least 80 per cent landowners mandatory if acquisition is for private projects. We welcome this recommendation and suggest that the agreement of this 80 percent should be transparent and half of this 80 percent must be women."
The Charkha Development Communication network feels that the proposed Bill, which is controversial, hopes to provide a solution to problems of displaced -a solution that will allow the future generation to live peacefully on their land. As for the past, nothing on this earth can compensate for the troubles caused By Aloka (ANI)