Andhra Pradesh

Don’t evacuate Polavaram displaced families sans proper R&R: Andhra HC

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Saturday, July 24, 2021, directed the officials not to evacuate the Polavaram project displaced families (PDFs) from their villages without providing R & R (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) as per the Act.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Sivaramakrishna, who runs NGO Shakti, stating that Polavaram project displaced are being shifted out of the submerged villages without implementing the R & R package, a division bench comprising Chief Justice AK Goswami and Justice N Jayasurya directed the Polavaram Project Authority to submit details of the measures taken for protecting the rights of the displaced people, to implement the R&R package and its supervision.

Petitioner’s counsel argued that officials are intentionally storing water in cofferdam so the backwater enters the submerged villages, forcing people to evacuate, even before the R & R package is implemented.
He argued that the tribals, who will be losing their livelihood due to the project, are not being properly rehabilitated. The PPA is not responding properly to the issue, he said. After hearing arguments in the case, the bench asked the officials not to evacuate the project displaced people until the R & R package is implemented and adjourned case hearing to August 23.