Sea erosion threatened villagers to be resettled

Kendrapara: Waking up to the threat of sea erosion, the state government has taken up the process to relocate people in vulnerable villages to a resettlement colony in Kendrapara district.

“The project to shift the residents of sea erosion-hit Satabhaya gram panchayat to safer places is underway. They will be shifted to Bagapatia rehabilitation colony by March 31, 2013,” Kendrapara Collector Durga Prasad Behera said.

Once the relocation process is complete, it would be Odisha’s first ever rehabilitation and resettlement project for people displaced by sea erosion.

“The rehabilitation colony at Bagapatia is being readied for Satabhaya’s residents. Major portions of 132 acre required for the colony have been acquired,” Behera said. A community building has already come up at the site. A school was also being built. The construction work would pick up after the monsoon.

Provisions for roads, drinking water and construction of dwelling units would be taken up, the collector said. The decision to relocate the 571 families living in the vulnerable coastal villages was taken earlier in 2008.

The project was delayed mainly due to problems in acquisition of private land. Besides, some families were not willing to move to the resettlement colony. But these issues have now been amicably settled. The administration has decided to complete the relocation process by the end of March 2013, the collector said.

Each of the families would be provided with 10 decimal of homestead land, two acre of cultivable land besides a pucca house.

There would, however, be no financial compensation for the resettled families, according to the resettlement package.