Clearing the bedight for pecuniary compensation for the oustees of the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) on river Narmada in Madhya Pradesh, the Supreme Court has ordered Rs 60 lakh for each of the nearly 700 families likely to be displaced.
The apex court, which passed a slip of directions on 8th February to address the grievances of 681 such families, also withdrew its proposal to set up a three-member committee of former apex court judges to look into the compensation and reclamation matter for the oustees of the project. Earlier a panel of Justices (retd) V S Sirpurkar, K S Radhakrishnan and C Nagappan was offered.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar ordered compensation of Rs 60 lakh to each family for two hectares of land with an undertaking to be taken from them that they would empty land within one month failing which the authorities would have the right to force out them.
The bench, also comprising justices N V Ramana and D Y Chandrachud, noticed that the pecuniary compensation was considered as proposed land compensation was not viable due to non-availability of land bank.
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which is leading the campaign for the oustees, was of the scene that there was no good land that could have be given as compensation.
The bench noticed that around 1,300 families, who have taken the money but have some scrap, can raise the demand of Rs 15 lakh which would be given after decreasing money already paid to them.
The apex court also asked Gujarat government to give money to Madhya Pradesh for further distribution through grievance restitution authority headed by a retired High Court judge.
As far as Maharashtra and Gujarat were implicated, the apex court said relief and rehabilitation work has to be finished within three months. Lawyer Sanjay Parikh advanced the arguments on behalf of Narmada Bachao Andolan( NBA) while Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia along with advocate C D Singh made compliance on behalf of Narmada Control Authority and Madhya Pradesh respectively.
The bench noticed that despite the fact that compensation to be given to the oustees of the project have been increased by almost four times, the Narmada Bachao Andolan( NBA) still wanted to stall it.
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