Rehabilitation & Resettlement Policy

It is mandatory for the executing authority of any mega project that it arranges for resettlement and rehabilitation of the families and persons who are displaced in the course of executing any mega project like hydroelectric project or 4-lanning of road project etc. The ground situation is that Relief and Rehabilitation (R&R) being a component of the mega projects, is usually neglected by the project authorities and the affected people are not meted out justice as they deserve. In fact Jammu and Kashmir does not have a comprehensive Relief and Rehabilitation Policy which would by itself come into action whenever a project is launched. However, after hectic deliberations in 2013 a draft of the policy was prepared through the Revenue Department which would be the basis of formulating State Policy on Relief and Rehabilitation. Actually, it was in 2010-11 that the Union Government had suggested the State Government to frame the draft policy for R&R and the State Government took two years to address the matter that too perfunctorily.
Four years have passed and the draft for formulating R&R Policy has not seen the light of the day. This shows how much unconcerned and insensitive the Government is about the welfare of the people who are displaced and dislocated when a mega project is underway.  In all probability if there is a comprehensive R&R Policy in vogue, the compulsion for the affected families to find justice at the court of law is considerably reduced. By not having the comprehensive policy, the Government is indirectly encouraging the litigation prospect and thus burdening the courts and judiciary further. This is quite unhealthy system and should be remedied as early as possible. The agency entrusted with the task should be asked to draft the policy within shortest possible time.