Construction of Mogra dam in Chhattisgarh has left thousands in 14 villages landless. Bhan Sahu, our correspondent is one of them.
Mogra dam is built on the Seonath River in Rajnandgaon district. The objective of the dam was to provide water for irrigation. However, currently it is only supporting a cluster of industrial units.
Bhan Sahu has been leading the fight of affected tribal people from the front for several years. She visits the affected villages, organizes rallies, addresses people and encourages them to keep demanding what is their right. For her work she has become an inspiration for her community. According to Bhan Sahu her community is affected in following ways:
• The land taken by govt for dam was agricultural land. As a result her community members have lost their main source of locals livelihood.
• Compensation offered by the government is inadequate as it includes only money and no livelihood options.
• The price of the land offered by the govt is also as per the market rate in the 1967 – when the dam was first planned.
Despite the construction of the dam the fourteen villages continue to have acute drinking water shortage as they are not supplied the water of the dam.
The situation has forced the locals to migrate to other areas of the state in search of a livelihood. The dam affects a total of 56 villages in the state. On an average over 200 people are forced to migrate each year from each of these affected villages.
Bhan Sahu feels people in her community need land as compensation, not money. They need employment as the land taken by govt for dam was used for growing food. As a community correspondent she is dedicated to share the stories of her community’s struggle until they have succeeded.
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