BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday asked the state government to form a team of officers to look into the problems of those affected by the Indravati project in four districts (Kalahandi, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada) of Odisha.
The NHRC has also asked its special representative, Damodar Sarangi, to visit the spot, assess the ground realities there and submit a report to the commission within eight weeks. NHRC member S C Sinha was hearing a petition filed by Radhakanta Tripathy, an advocate and human rights activist, on the plight of the people living in the area.
The petitioner claimed around one lakh people from more than 100 villages in the four districts are living in the cut off area inside the Indravati reservoir. The Indravati river is an irrigation and power generation project for which a reservoir has been made which touches the four districts.
“They are deprived of basic necessities such as safe drinking water, primary health care and education. For communication, they have to depend on country boats due to lack of roads,” Tripathy said.
“The commission directed the chief secretary to submit a detailed report with regard to the allegation and to constitute a team of officials to look into the issue of the displaced people within 12 weeks,” he added.
In August last year, the NHRC had also issued notices to the chief secretary and the district collectors of Kalahandi, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Rayagada to submit a report within 15 days for the ongoing hearing.