Nagpur: The rehabilation work of those displaced from Gondegaon mines has once again mired into logjam as Western Coalfields Limited authorities appeared to be sitting lame over the issue, despite the mines brought into functioning a couple of years ago. The process however resumed recently but again stuck into red tapism. Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari had also directed WCL authorities to undertake the work of rehabilitation at the earliest, but the authorities are still inactive.
Sources informed that the WCL authorities had started acquiring land for Gondegaon Mines somewhere in 1994. At that time, the WCL authorities had promised that they would be rehabilitating the villagers of Gondegaon first and only after that will they acquire land for the mines. Since then, the WCL authorities have been giving vague assurances and have been dilly-dallying the work of rehabilitation of the villagers.
The mud and the slime that the excavators dug out before getting the coal is being dumped in the outskirts of the village, which has now assumed the shape of small hillocks practically covering the village. When the wind blows, the fine mud gets blown into the houses of the villagers. During monsoon, the villagers have to go through harrowing experience.
Apart from this, the villagers have to face the problems of vibrations under the ground by the continuous blasts for excavating coal.
The villagers of Gondegaon have met the District Collector, Member of Parliament and Member of Legislative Assembly of Ramtek Constituency to complain about the autocracy of WCL authorities umpteen times, but to no avail.
The WCL authorities had initiated a process of survey of the beneficiaries and Gondegaon Project affected people in the year 2004. In the year 2014, around 823 beneficiaries were distributed plots on lottery basis, while the total number of beneficiaries was 1200. Of this 1200, injustice was meted out to nearly 400 beneficiaries.
The villagers have since demanded the amount at par with the present market rate from the WCL authorities. Failing to receive the amount at par with the present market rate, they have threatened to intensify their agitation and close the mining work at Gondegaon.
– By Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha( firstname.lastname@example.org )