PMO monitoring probe in Kishenganga land fraud

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Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has taken a strong note of the fraud in acquisition of land for construction of 330 MWs of Kishengaga power project by the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in Gurez area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Sources said before deciding to visit the State on November 7 to inaugurate 450 MWs Baglihar power project phase II, PM Modi reviewed the work of power projects in the state.
During the meeting, PM took strong exception about the fraud that has taken place to compensate families from whom 4200 kanal land has been acquired to build the power project on Kishenganga river.
According to officials, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is monitoring the work after  bungling in the acquisition of the land worth crores of rupees came to fore.

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“Due to the irregularities, state government has not been able to take decision over rehabilitation of 183 families, who are getting affected by the project.  The project is being directly monitored by the PMO after land acquisition issues came to their notice,” said a senior PDD official.
He said irregularities have come to notice of PDD in acquisition of Shamlat Deh land in Gurez as the affected families have not been compensated as per norms.

Another top government official said CBI is also investigating the matter.
“There is a norm to compensate the Shamlat Deh land and the compensation is commensurate with the proprietary land which an individual has been holding. However, the norm has been contravened and the people have not been paid as per the proprietary land,” he said.

The official said a notification was issued in 2007 for the acquisition of land for construction of the dam of the project. “After controversy over the land compensation and delay in relief settlement cases of affected families, the work on the project has slowed down”.

He said the PM also reviewed progress of work during a recent review under the PRAGATI programe.
Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Sajad Ahmad, said action against the officials involved in the scam would be taken after the CBI submits its report in the case.
Minister of State for Power, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, said land compensation issues are being addressed by the government.
“There are also issues related to the compensation to be paid to the people, whose land has been taken over. We hope to complete the project by next year.”  Source

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