S. GALAB

M. GOPINATH REDDY



Displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation:A case of Singoor Project in Andhra Pradesh


This paper in five sections discusses issues related to displacement, resettlement, and rehabilitation in the Singoor Project of Andhra Pradesh. The first section deals with the salient features of the project, the magnitude of displacement, the characteristics of the area submerged and the socio-economic conditions of the people therein and the consequences of displacement. The second section deals with the resettlement and rehabilitation policy, its scope and limitations in compensating the losses to project affected families. The third section examines the efforts of the authorities in planning and implementing resettlement and rehabilitation programs. The fourth section dwells upon the economic rehabilitation of project affected families with the involvement of non-government organizations. The last section deals with the lessons to be learnt from the experience of the Singoor Project for the formulation of future resettlement and rehabilitation policies and programs.

Large-scale development activities involve displacement of populations on a massive scale. Most often, such displacement is involuntary. In this process of displacement, many villages and their socio-economic structures are destroyed. Further, involuntary displacement disturbs and at times completely dismantles the production base, inducing impoverishment among affected populations. Sometimes, the magnitude of displacement is so massive that regional economies are adversely affected.

It is by now well established that by its very nature, involuntary displacement is a disruptive and painful process. Economically and culturally, it creates a high risk of chronic impoverishment that typically occurs along one or several of the following dimensions: landlessness, joblessness, homelessness, marginalization, food insecurity, mortality, and social disarticulation (Cernea, 1990). This paper attempts to delineate the experience of Singoor project in Andhra Pradesh with regard to displacement effects, compensation policy, and finally resettlement and rehabilitation packages for the project-affected persons.

Section – I: The Singoor Project

Salient features: The Singoor Project was constructed across the river Manjira, a tributary of the river Godavari, near Singoor Village in Medak District of Andhra Pradesh. The reservoir is located at about 150 kms upstream of the Manjira Barrage near Sangareddy, the headquarters of Medak District. The Singoor reservoir was formed by constructing an earthen dam 7180 M on either side of the river with a masonry spillway of 340 M. The spillway has been designed for maximum flood discharge of 780,000 cusecs.

The maximum height of the dam above foundation level is 33.5 M. The reservoir has a gross storage capacity of 30 TMC of FRL + 532.60 M with a total water spread of 164.43 sq. kms. The catchment area of the project from Andhra Pradesh is about 700 sq. kms. 30 TMC of reservoir capacity is meant for:

Major effects: All lands up to + 523.60 FRL without considering the backwater effect have been acquired. All structures coming under submergence of + 523.60 FRL considering the backwater effect plus wave height (0.3) as laid down in the guidelines of the Government of India have also been acquired. As per available records, 32803.57 acres and 5370 structures have been submerged (Tables – 1,2,3, 4 & 5).

In addition, land to the extent of 2841 acres in 17 villages and two bridges in Karnataka have been submerged. No village settlement in Karnataka has been fully submerged. Our analysis is, however, confined to submerged land and structures in fully submerged villages of Andhra Pradesh.
 
 

Table –1

Basic profile of submerged villages

Item
Fully submerged
Partially submerged
Total
Left flank
Right Flank
Total
Left flank
Right flank
Total
Left flank
Right flank
Total
No. of villages
10
17
27
22
20
42
32
37
69
Total population
10270
13270
23540
19694
14488
34182
29964
27758
57722
Total households
1812
2309
4121
3517
2653
6170
5329
4962
10291
Village area (acres)
19558
25090
44648
36503
29023
65526
56061
54113
110174
Land submerged (acres)
9447
12542
21989
6118
4697
10815
15565
17239
32804
Land submerged 

(percentage)

48
50
49
17
16
17
28
32
30
SC/STs (Total)
2633
2892
5225
3643
2602
6245
6276
5494
11770
SC/STs (percentage to population)
26
22
22
18
18
18
21
20
20
Agricultural labor
1069
2894
3963
3529
3818
7347
4598
6712
11310
Agricultural labor (percentage to population)
10 
22
17
18
27
22
15
24
20
Marginal workers
680
526
1206
1427
210
1637
2107
736
2843
Marginal workers

(percentage to 

population)

7
4
5
7
1
5
7
3
5

Table – 2

Fully submerged area: Left flank

Village Mandal
Total village area (Ha)
Area submer-ged (Ha)
Struct-ures under submer-gence 
Number of Houses
Number of Hou-seholds
SCs STs Total
Atimal Manoor
1931.99
337.32
210
162
169
233
-
909
Hunnapur Pulkal
1336.00
1200.78
193
126
142
271
-
737
Jangaosripalli Manoor
684.01
284.73
146
84
84
122
-
420
Kadirabad Regode
6242.98
2182.60
633
493
549
786
52
3188
Mantoor Pulkal
2448.12
1751.83
315
188
188
316
-
1221
Nirjapala Regode
2076.00
1241.85
360
229
229
278
-
1191
Paladugu Regode
1184.00
892.33
143
104
104
165
-
788
Raipally Manoor
1197.00
437.95
141
135
136
130
-
739
Seripeddredd-ypet Pulkal
595.99
460.93
63
42
51
22
-
268
Osrikapally Regode
1816.99
656.42
202
154
160
258
-
879
Sub-total
-
19558.08
9446.74
2406
1717
1812
2581
52
10270

Table – 3

Partially submerged area: Left flank

Village Mandal
Total village area (Ha)
Area submer-ged (Ha)
Struct-ures under submer-gence 
Number of Houses
Number of Hou-seholds
SCs STs Total
Badelgaon Manoor
1152.00
218.68
0
142
170
157
18
817
Belapur Manoor
2565.99
1276.33
0
248
248
111
3
1310
Borancha Manoor
4050.00
857.75
0
286
321
--
--
1680
Butkoor Regode
1220.01
349.07
0
127
127
216
--
721
Devnoor Regode
2170.00
631.30
0
185
226
358
4
1329
Dhanwar Manoor
1530.00
309.60
0
161
161
265
5
871
Gardegaon Manoor
791.01
43.98
0
107
108
--
--
602
Gondegaon Manoor
1043.01
48.88
0
111
114
200
--
726
Gorrwkkal Alladurg
2277.99
45.67
0
198
249
60
--
1503
Gouthapur Alladurg
915.01
2.63
0
50
56
89
--
392
Gudoor Manoor
1342.00
103.00
0
123
130
195
--
723
Hukrama Manoor
1408.99
197.00
0
166
173
124
--
750
Karamongi Manoor
3926.00
154.43
0
255
280
334
46
1672
Konareddy-pally Alladurg
506.00
15.45
0
103
103
117
--
555
Maqthampur Manoor
518.99
131.45
0
49
49
191
--
309
Morgi Manoor
2010.00
77.28
0
149
150
70
--
882
Peddareddypet Pulkal
2781.98
390.10
0
215
270
217
--
1367
Pulkurthy Manoor
2197.01
1102.25
0
176
182
242
--
965
Shapur Manoor
763.01
56.05
0
96
96
55
10
544
Shikarkhana Manoor
734.99
18.40
0
50
51
41
--
265
Tatpally Regode
821.99
25.45
0
60
64
164
--
385
Tornal Manoor
1777.01
62.88
0
184
189
235
--
10561
Sub-total -
36502.99
6117.63
0
3241
3517
3557
86
19424

Main characteristics of the submerged area: 69 villages have been affected by the Singoor Project. Out of these, 27 villages have been fully submerged and the other 42 have been partially submerged. The total population of the fully submerged 27 villages is 23540. The fully submerged villages can be characterized as follows:

Table – 4

Fully submerged area: Right flank

Village Mandal
Total village area (Ha)
Area submer-ged (Ha)
Struct-ures under submer-gence 
Number of Houses
Number of Hou-seholds
SCs STs Total
Allapuram Munipally
6599.99
63.65
176
43
59
58
--
375
Belur Munipally
1624.00
1495.1
220
169
195
267
--
1001
Boglampalli Raikode
831.11
259.05
49
31
31
18
9
178
Busareddy-pally Munipally
3007.00
691.45
336
266
273
423
6
1908
Doulatabad Raikode
873.00
463.93
70
73
73
61
--
410
Garalapally Munipally
1991.00
376.43
209
163
162
221
--
887
Indoor Raikode
3057.73
2075.22
300
253
258
241
--
1262
Kallapally Munipally
1626.00
1095.00
135
100
127
198
--
700
Kodur Raikode
2424.00
2129.00
192
305
138
112
--
780
Maktakesaram Munipally
1912.05
889.42
194
183
183
281
16
1139
Mallikarjuna-pally Munipally
1903.99
682.10
238
158
158
233
24
912
Mamidipally Raikode
1231.00
463.07
223
180
187
198
--
1278
Mortaga Raikode
679.00
420.77
93
75
75
76
--
378
Ramachandra-puram Munipally
1071.00
661.92
114
100
134
204
--
609
Resulapad Munipally
445.28
445.70
0
De- populated
Siroor Raikode
1142.00
239.85
240
173
173
127
--
1028
Takkalapally Munipally
610.99
90.35
175
83
83
119
--
425
Sub-total  
25090.13
12542.01
2964
2355
2309
2837
55
13270

Table – 5

Partially submerged area: Right flank

Village Mandal
Total village area (Ha)
Area submer-ged (Ha)
Struct-ures under submer-gence 
Number of Houses
Number of Hou-seholds
SCs STs Total
Ameerabad Nyalkal
1020.99
293.18
0
117
117
151
--
571
Cheekurthy Nyalkal
818.46
122.65
0
154
154
100
--
865
Chalki Nyalkal
2034.00
128.32
0
186
187
90
--
1087
Cheelapally Munipally
1771.00
23.38
0
132
136
194
--
791
Etexepally Raikode
1818.00
619.42
0
216
218
91
32
1124
Hasnabad Raikode
2435.99
297.63
0
305
305
348
--
1482
Hunnapur Nyalkal
734.00
36.00
0
65
65
51
--
338
Hussainnagar Nyalkal
2074.00
232.07
0
144
144
65
--
867
Jamalpur Raikode
580.99
73.53
0
- De-populated -
Kakijanwada Nyalkal
1240.99
495.05
0
158
158
268
--
843
Karchal Raikode
1338.00
42.00
0
166
167
50
--
924
Khan Jamalpur Raikode
1277.00
140.28
0
105
106
67
--
550
Matoor Raikode
1434.00
149.40
0
70
70
191
--
371
Murthujapur Nyalkal
1047.70
81.80
0
67
67
75
--
472
Nagwar Raikode
1312.99
6.72
0
91
91
44
--
583
Narayanapally Raikode
1448.99
78.33
0
---- Depopulated ----
Pampad Raikode
2014.99
1132.00
0
211
211
375
--
1161
Peepalapally Raikode
2723.00
561.33
0
271
271
142
7
1460
Raghawapur Nyalkal
1214.99
144.60
0
126
128
173
16
689
Shapur Raikode
665.01
39.50
0
58
58
72
--
310
Sub-total  
29023.09
4697.19
0
2642
2653
2547
55
14488

The infrastructure possessed by the submerged villages is as follows:

Socio-economic conditions of households: The incidence of illiteracy is very high among the households. Our data reveals that 76.5% of the households surveyed are illiterate. Moreover, a further 13.6% of the households surveyed had only primary education. The incidence of illiteracy and lower education levels is high among small, marginal farmers and agricultural labor (Table – 6).

Table – 6

Category-wise education levels (in percentages)


Category
Illiterates
Primary
Others
Total
Large farmers
59.8
20.5
19.5
100.0
Medium farmers
75.2
14.2
10.0
100.0
Small farmers
84.0
11.8
4.2
100.0
Marginal farmers
91.1
0.6
8.3
100.0
Agricultural labor
93.5
3.2
3.3
100.0
Others
71.4
28.6
-
100.0
Total
76.5
13.6
9.9
100.0

As high as 87.5% of the graduates are engaged in unskilled activity. This reflects the level of unemployment in the area. There is hardly any scope for a large number of educated youth residing in these affected villages (Table – 7).

Table – 7

Education and skills


Level of education 
Unskilled
Skilled
Total
Number
Percentage
Number
Percentage
Number
Percentage
Illiterate
540
96.8
18
3.2
558
100.0
Primary
91
91.9
8
8.1
99
100.0
Secondary
22
100.0
0
0.0
22
100.0
High school
35
94.6
2
5.4
37
100.0
Intermediate
5
100.0
0
0.0
5
100.0
Degree
7
87.5
1
12.1
8
100.0

The households in the entire project area are dependent on agriculture for their income, as there are no large or small-scale industries in the area. There is hardly any income derived from livestock or household industry. The average income derived by agricultural labor is the highest at Rs. 4990 per household. Further, the average household income in the others category is higher than the average income of the marginal farmers (Table – 8).

Table – 8

Category-wise levels of income (Rs. average per household)


Category
Agriculture
Hired out labor
Other incomes
Total cost
Net income
Large farmers
20093
1163
14
4365
16905
Medium farmers
10572
2140
13
2073
10651
Small farmers
4477
2326
10
1099
5714
Marginal farmers
4788
1881
19
1185
5503
Average
10862
1912
14
2373
10415

55.3% of the households are engaged in cultivation whereas 5.1% of the households do not have any activity at all. The percentage of cultivators is expected to go down from 55.3% at present to 24.6% after evacuation. On the other hand, the percentage of households with no activity will increase from 5.1% at present to 33.9% after evacuation. However, the percentage of labor is expected to be more or less the same as before. Thus, a shift in occupational pattern is expected to take place from cultivation to no activity. This would have a negative impact on the employment situation in the area (Tables – 9 and 10). The affected area, thus, is backward in terms of both physical and human resources.

Table – 9

Category-wise main activity before evacuation


Category
Cultivators
Labor
No

activity

Others
Total
No.
%age
No.
%age
No.
%age
No.
%age
No.
%age
Large farmers
195
85.2
13
5.7
13
5.7
8
3.4
229
100.0
Medium farmers
108
72.0
29
19.5
7
4.7
5
3.3
149
100.0
Small farmers
62
43.1
54
37.5
5
3.5
23
15.9
144
100.0
Marginal farmers
37
21.9
101
59.8
10
5.9
21
12.4
169
100.0
Agricultural labor
-
-
27
87.1
1
3.2
3
9.7
31
100.0
Others
1
14.3
2
28.6
1
14.3
3
42.8
7
100.0
Total
403
55.3
226
31.0
1
5.1
3
8.6
7
100.0

Table – 10

Category-wise main activity after evacuation


Category
Cultivators
Labor
No activity
Others
Total
Large farmers
21
2
3
1
27
Medium farmers
6
6
2
--
14
Small farmers
4
16
1
6
27
Marginal farmers
5
14
2
5
26
Agricultural labor
--
2
--
--
2
Others
--
1
--
--
1
Total
36
41
8
12
97

Consequences of displacement: The consequences of displacement under the Singoor Project area are presented below:

Section – II: Relocation and resettlement policy

The policy: During the last three decades, many changes have taken place in the rehabilitation policy followed by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. Under earlier projects like Nagarjunasagar and Pochampad, physical rehabilitation policy has been followed. In case of the Singoor Project, no provision has been made for physical rehabilitation. Instead, cash grant compensation policy has been adopted. Project affected persons are paid compensation for lands and structures that have been affected. However, a provision has been made to pay some rehabilitation grant on the basis of existing laws to the affected persons.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh issued orders that no rehabilitation centres will be set-up by the government under project hereafter. Ex-gratia cash grant will be paid to the displaced families in lieu of rehabilitation in all major and medium irrigation and hydroelectric projects excepting the projects where orders have been issued to set-up rehabilitation centres. The ex-gratia cash grant to be paid in lieu of rehabilitation should be at the following rate:

In addition to the ex-gratia amount as detailed above, provisions were also made to provide basic amenities at places where the displaced families have settled. A separate government memo was issued clarifying the position on payment of interest, etc., the brief details of which are as follows: In order to calculate compensation for the submerged structures, these structures were divided into two categories (houses and other structures). For the sake of estimating compensation, houses were broadly classified as: Based on the estimates for different categories, general area rates were calculated. These rates were applied to all houses where the cost of the house was below Rs. 15000. Where the costs exceeded Rs. 5000 by plinth area rate, detailed estimates were prepared. In case of hutments, no depreciation was charged. For other types of houses depreciation was charged depending on the estimated age and cost of the house.

Cash grant compensation policy and its contribution to the resettlement of project affected families: The contribution of cash grant compensation policy has been assessed based on the following issues:

Adequacy/inadequacy of compensation amount: It is generally felt that the compensation received for houses and other structures was more or less adequate, whereas the compensation for lands was inadequate. Here lies the crux of the problem. As the compensation received for the productive asset (e.g., land) is less, the displaced population would find it extremely difficult to purchase the lands again. Further, many project affected families have felt that it was not possible to buy any land even after receiving compensation as it was not paid in one installment.

The data reveals that the average compensation received per household works out to Rs. 11089 for the entire fully submerged area, although there are differences in the average compensation for different categories of households. The average compensation received by large farmers is Rs. 15364, whereas that received by agricultural labor is Rs. 4190. The average compensation paid per acre of dry land is Rs. 8000 and the average compensation paid per acre of wet land is Rs. 12000. This includes interest, if any, and 30% solatium.

Our survey revealed that the above amount is not at all sufficient to buy even an acre of dry land! The average cost per acre of dry land is Rs. 20300 and that of wet land is Rs. 22900. The difference between the compensation received and the current price that needs to be paid to purchase new land may have adversely affected the project-affected population.

Utilization of compensation received: The utilization pattern of compensation received reveals that the entire compensation is not invested. Some of it has gone toward repayment of previous loans, marriages of children, and conspicuous consumption. Our survey shows that only 55.6% of the total compensation has been invested. The percentage of compensation deposited with banks and other financial institutions works out to 16.3%, which means that a total 28.1% of the compensation received has been spent on consumption.

Table – 11

Summary in percentages of disposition of compensation – All villages


Household category
Total investment on

different items

Total expenditure on different items
Total savings
Large farmers
55.51
26.35
18.14
Medium farmers
50.39
27.86
21.75
Small farmers
76.39
21.98
1.81
Marginal farmers
48.72
40.53
10.75
Agricultural labor
39.35
19.85
40.80
Others
38.41
61.59
-
Total
55.63
28.06
16.31

It may be observed that with the exception of small farmers, there is a positive relationship between the size of land holdings and the percentage of compensation invested. This goes to show that the people at the lower strata have been most affected by the displacement as most of the compensation received by them has been spent on consumption and little is left towards investment (Table – 11). A further analysis of decomposition of compensation on various individual items of investment and expenditure is given below:

Table – 12

Percentage of investment and expenditure on different items

Amount invested on
Percentage
Amount spent on
Percentage
Percentage of agricultural land
68.1
Repayment of debts
50.70
Purchase of house site
6.6
Marriages
43.86
Purchase of house
11.4
Religious functions
0.32
Construction of house
10.1
Lawyers
3.60
Purchase of livestock
2.6
Middlemen
1.53
Purchase of agricultural implements
0.8
   
Others
0.4
   
Total
100.0
Total
100.0
Table – 13

Details of land acquired and land purchased (in acres)


Nature of land
Land acquired
Land subsequently purchased
Percentage of land purchased to acquired
Irrigated land
343.54
152.75
44.5
Non-irrigated land
2533.44
707.95
27.9
Total
2876.98
860.70
29.9

Similarly, compensation for certain common property resources like irrigation tanks has not been given. For example, a large tank (Hasnabad Tank) irrigating 2000 acres has become useless since the adjacent area under this tank came under submergence. The effected population’s plea for a lift irrigation scheme to make use of the water in the tank for upland areas of the surrounding villages has not been accepted by government since it thought that the cost involved is very high. Not compensating common property resources on which the poor used to depend heavily was among the foremost defects of the policy.

The settlement of project affected families as cohesive social and family units: As already mentioned, in case of Singoor Project only cash compensation method was followed and no provision was made for physical rehabilitation. Project affected persons are paid compensation for lands and structures that are affected. However, a provision is made to pay rehabilitation cash grant to the affected persons. In response to this resettlement and rehabilitation policy, some of the project-affected families have migrated to nearby villages and towns to settle themselves.

In this process, all the project-affected families from one of the affected villages (Peddareddypet) have migrated to nearby villages and as a result the whole settlement has disappeared and a majority of the project-affected families have migrated from Hunnapur, Kallapally, Belur, and Ramchandrapuram villages. This has had a devastating effect on the lives of the project-affected families and their settlements. However, in many of the villages rich the project-affected families had started settling in the upland parts around the old settlements. This clearly indicates that cash grant compensation and rehabilitation cash grant policies have not led to the formation of new settlements.

Section - III: Planning and implementing

resettlement and rehabilitation programs:

Efforts of the authorities

Resettlement of project affected families: In the backdrop of the situation described above, the Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, was asked to prepare a Resettlement and Rehabilitation Plan for rehabilitating the project-affected families. CESS suggested two kinds of programs for the project-affected families in order to increase or at least retain their incomes while maintaining their own identity in terms of community or village units. The programs suggested relate to resettlement and economic rehabilitation. Few revisions were made to the plan prepared by CESS and the same was approved by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

In order to resettle the displaced families/persons as village cohesive social and family units, village sites, house plots, and the housing program, along with the infrastructure, viz., drinking water, electricity, approach and internal roads, and public buildings was suggested. The authorities have taken into account the preferences of the project affected families in identifying the village-sites for the settlement. The project-affected families were keen on retaining the identity of their respective villages in spite of the fact that much of the land has been submerged.

Further, they have shown interest to settle in the upland areas around the old villages. People belonging to the 27 fully submerged villages have decided to settle in 24 new settlements. Hence, the village sites have been identified for all the 24 new settlements either from the available government lands or through purchase of private lands in the upland parts around the old villages.

All households of erstwhile villages have settled more or less within the vicinity of their respective villages, while the households of Hunnapur (Chakriyal) village have settled at a distance of 30 kms away from their old village. The households of all the villages except those of Hunnapur have settled at a new site of their own choice. In all the 24 new settlements, a total of 3895 open plots have been made and 3490 plots for the purpose of house construction have been distributed to the eligible affected households. The allocation of house sites has been done based on the preferences of the people. The location pattern of house sites of different communities in the new village settlements resembles that of any typical Indian village.

All the poor families, irrespective of their caste affiliations, have been provided Rs. 15000 per each family as a grant to construct houses in the 24 new settlements. A total of 2255 houses have been sanctioned in the 24 settlements. Technical guidance has been provided by the engineering wing of the resettlement and rehabilitation authorities. The model of the house is decided by the people themselves. The infrastructure created in the new settlement by the resettlement and rehabilitation authorities under PRO is as follows:

However, there are some anomalies in the planning and implementation of the resettlement programs. These are listed below: Economic rehabilitation program: The rehabilitation program for providing income and employment to the project affected families includes:

Agriculture Intensification Scheme: The production base of the villages has been severely affected due to submergence of large extent of cultivable land. The per capita availability of land has come down to 0.80 hectares from 1.82 hectares. The lands submerged were very fertile. Hence, there is a need to strengthen the production base of the villages. There is also no scope of bringing additional land under ploughing in the project affected villages. In this context, the land available in the villages after submergence has to be utilized judiciously. Productivity and the intensive use of the land have to be raised to the maximum extent possible. Irrigation could be one of the most effective instruments in this regard. Moreover, the irrigation potential created may also be used judiciously to extend irrigation facilities to the maximum possible extent of land. In this backdrop, agricultural intensification scheme has been conceived and implemented as a component of rehabilitation program.

The scheme has two components:

A total of 346 irrigation borewells were planned to be drilled in all the affected villages (149 after a survey). In the 24 fully submerged villages, a total of 243 irrigation borewells were planned to be drilled (137 after survey). All the 137 bore wells have been drilled. However, only 109 bore wells were finally found fit with sufficient water availability. This indicates that 21% of the borewells met with failure (Table – 14).

Table – 14

Success and failure profile of borewells drilled


Village
Number of borewells drilled
Number of failed borewells
Failure rate

(percentage)

Kodur
4
0
0.00
Mortaga
4
0
0.00
Maktakesaram & R.C. Puram
5
4
80.00
Garlapalli
10
6
60.00
Kallapalli-Belur
3
2
66.67
Busareddypally
14
2
14.29
Manthoor
10
1
10.00
Osrikapally
19
0
0.00
Paladugu
2
1
50.00
Raipally
3
2
66.67
Mamidipally
21
5
41.67
Doultabad
1
0
0.00
Siroor
3
0
0.00
Jangam Osrikapally
7
1
14.29
Kadirabad
3
1
33.33
Nirjapala
8
1
13.00
Indoor
4
0
0.00
Takkallapally
10
1
10.00
Allapur
8
0
0.00
Mallikarjunapally
5
1
20.00
All villages
135
28
21.00

The failure rate varies considerably across the villages. The ground water potential is varying across borewells within the village and more so across the villages (Table – 15).

Table – 15

Village-wise water yield of borewells drilled (in gallons per hour –GPH)


Village
Ranges of water yield and number of borewells
400-

1000

1000-1500
1500- 2000
2000- 2500
2500-3000
3000 & above
All
Doulthabad
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
Mamidipally
0 (0.0)
1 (14.2)
3 (42.9)
3 (42.9)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
7 (199.0)
Siroor
1 (50.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (50.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
2 (100.0)
Indoor
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (33.3)
2 (66.7)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
3 (100.0)
Kodur
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (33.3)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
2 (66.7)
3 (100.0)
Mortaga
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (33.3)
2 (66.7)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
3 (100.0)
Paladugu
0 (0.0)
2 (100.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
2 (100.0)
Osrikapally
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
2 (15.3)
6 (46.2)
1 (7.7)
4 (30.8)
13 (100.0)
Nirjupla
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
3 (42.9)
4 (57.1)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
7 (100.0)
Khadirabad
1 (33.3)
1 (33.3)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (33.3)
3 (100.0)
Kallapally & Belur
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
Busareddy Pally
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
4 (33.3)
8 (66.7)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
12 (100.0)
Allapur
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (25.0)
1 (25.0)
1 (25.0)
1 (25.0)
4 (100.0)
Mallikarjunapally
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
Rajpally
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
Jangam Osrikapally
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (25.0)
2 (50.0)
1 (25.0)
4 (100.0)
Thakkallapally
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)
Garlapally
0 (0.0)
1 (25.0)
1 (25.0)
0 (0.0)
2 (50.0)
0 (0.0)
4 (100.0)
M. Kesar & R. C. Puram
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
0 (0.0)
1(100.0)
0 (0.0)
1 (100.0)

The water yield of the borewells is less in the villages where the success rate of borewells is high. The water yield is decreasing over the years from the year of utilization in case of Allapur and Takkelapally villages. The actual area irrigated is very less as compared to the expected areas (Table – 16).

Table – 16

Village-wise water yield of borewells drilled (in gallons per hour –GPH)


Village
Number of borewells commissioned
Expected irrigated area

(in acres)

Actual irrigated area

(in acres)

Bogumpally
-
--
--
Kodur
4
47.14
5.37
Mortaga
4
38.33
8.31
Maktakesaram & R.C. Puram
1
13.00
8.00
Garlapalli
5
35.37
17.37
Kallapalli-Belur
1
13.27
1.00
Busareddypally
10
87.20
24.20
Hunnapur
-
--
--
Manthoor
9
106.00
17.00
Osrikapally
19
103.00
33.20
Paladugu
2
12.00
--
Raipally
1
9.31
4.00
Mamidipally
8
73.12
24.32
Doultabad
2
NA
--
Siroor
2
NA
--
Peepalpally
-
--
--
Jangam Osrikapally
5
41.13
25.02
Atimal
-
--
--
Kadirabad
2
25.00
10.00
Nirjapala
7
60.05
13.37
Indoor
5
25.03
14.00
Takkallapally
10
74.09
56.00
Allapur
8
67.12
35.06
Mallikarjunapally
4
32.00
22.00
All villages
109
865.16
321.22

As against horticulture, rehabilitation and resettlement authorities anticipated that the project-affected families would plant crops that are water saving, but they began cultivating water intensive crops like paddy, sugarcane, onion, and wheat. Incidentally, in case of successful borewells, the income per acre increased by about Rs. 1200 to 1600.

The above discussion clearly indicates that the community irrigation borewells scheme has its limitations in serving as a strategy to strengthen the agriculture production base of the villages. This program has to be implemented with the open dug well scheme located as a part of the watershed management program.

Self-employment programs: Have been implemented for the benefit of the poor among the project-affected families. The schemes implemented under the self-employment programs can be grouped in three categories:

A total of 73 project-affected families have been assisted under these schemes in the villages. The evaluation of the performance of these schemes reveals the following: Proper planning can ensure provision of backward and forward linkages as well as effective utilization and maintenance of assets. This demands the preparation of village-level action plans in which the proper integration of human resources, physical resources, and preferences for poor beneficiaries under self-employment schemes can be achieved. The quality of implementation and monitoring of the schemes has to be considerably improved. The non-government organizations are ideal agents to perform many of these tasks.

Self-employment training and asset distribution: One of the reasons for the existence of unemployment and poverty among the Singoor Project affected is that many of them do not possess skills. Hence, at least, some of the people can be imparted training to acquire necessary skills in certain trades. Subsequently, appropriate assets can be provided to them to take up self-employment activity in their respective trades. Under such a program, 90 persons were trained in various trades. But all the trainees have not been provided with assets related to their trade after the successful completion of the training. Overall, this scheme was not properly planned.

Matchbox industry: Keeping in view the fact that the nature of the agricultural economy of the project affected area did not provide for any non-farm activities, the authorities made an attempt to open up wage employment opportunities by establishing match box making industries in the project affected villages. ITC Limited, one of the largest companies in India stepped forward to render their services for imparting technical know-how and marketing the product. The authorities first proposed eight production centers (Raipally, Mamidipally, Khadirabad, Kallapally-Belur, Manthoor, Indoor, Osrikapally and Mallikarjuna-pally) and later decided to confine the matchbox making industry to two locations (Raipally and Mamidipally) as ITC had withdrawn its support.

The unit at Raipally was started initially so as to acquire experience in organizing the other unit. Women from Raipally, Siroor and Jangam Osrikapally were imparted training to acquire skills in participatory matchbox making. This matchbox making industry is being run on a cooperative basis, making reasonable profits and providing employment to female workers from the above three villages in the agricultural off-season. As a matter of fact, alternative employment in the agricultural off-season is a t zero-level in these villages prior to the establishment of this unit.

Moreover, women belonging to the Muslim community who were idle earlier, could utilize the opportunity by working from their houses and yet earn a minimum of Rs. 5 per day. Women working full time are able to earn Rs. 10 to Rs. 13 a day. Incidentally, these earnings are substantial for their families. This may lead to tightening of the labor market in Raipally and surrounding villages in the years to come if nothing else comes up.

Section – IV: Rehabilitation and NGO involvement

As various resettlement programs in the project affected villages, outlined in the earlier section, had been completed, the need for comprehensive economic rehabilitation schemes for project affected families who are below the poverty line has been increasingly felt. Economic rehabilitation is all the more necessary to restore the economic status of the vulnerable project affected families to the level they were prior to submergence of their land, their main productive asset. The authorities also realized that if proper economic rehabilitation was not undertaken, there is a likelihood that these families would migrate in search of gainful employment.

Further, it was realized that the experience of self-employment programs, implemented on a limited scale, was not encouraging. Even where few schemes were grounded, it was observed that there were loose ends in formulation and implementation. A comprehensive basic households survey was also not carried out by the resettlement and rehabilitation authorities. In a few villages where it was carried out, it was not done systematically. This has resulted in non-retention/under utilization of assets due to lack of effective backward and forward linkages. As mentioned earlier, planning was not done in assessing the demand potential of various schemes based on skill profiles of beneficiaries. This resulted in significant leakages.

To correct these distortions, it was felt necessary to entrust the task of preparing comprehensive village economic rehabilitation plan for each village to non-government organizations (NGOs). Another factor that weighed in favor of this decision was the fact that NGOs have demonstrated a greater sensitivity to complex social dimensions of rehabilitation and resettlement than the authorities who take a casual approach to social problems. Against this background, the authorities invited four NGOs working in the region and entrusted preparation of comprehensive economic rehabilitation plans for 20 villages. In addition to the NGOs, a research centre (CESS) was entrusted two villages while the authorities’ Rehabilitation Division by itself would handle three villages. Table – 17 gives the details.

Table – 17

NGOs/others and the villages entrusted for preparation of

comprehensive economic rehabilitation plans


Organization
Villages entrusted
Deccan Development Society (DDS) Mortaga, Mamidipally, Bogulampally, Siroor, Peepalapally, and Itikapally.
Youth for Action (YFA) Manthoor, Atimayal, Indoor, Kodur, Kadirabad, Kalleapally, and Bellur.
Advancement of Rural Technology, Hyderabad Input Centre (ARTHIC) Allapur, Takallapally, Mallikarjunapally, Busareddypally, Makatekasaram, Ramachandrapuram, and Garlapally. 
Professionals for Development Action (PRERENA) Osrikapally, and Nirjapally. 
Centre for Economic & Social Studies (CESS) Jangam Osrikapally, and Paladugu.
Rehabilitation Division Doulatabad, Hunnapur, and Raipally.

Methodology adopted: A common methodology adopted for the preparation of village rehabilitation plans was worked out by the NGOs/others after a series of discussions with the rehabilitation and resettlement authorities. Primarily, NGOs have used participatory rural appraisal techniques to understand the existing situation in the villages to get first-hand knowledge of physical and human resources. Besides this, detailed discussions with different communities by forming groups was undertaken to understand the main occupation, skills and asset base of project affected families.

Subsequently, the details regarding ways and means of rehabilitating them were elicited. Community-wise meetings were organized as it was felt that in the general body meeting of the village, only the views and choices of the dominant sections are voiced. The dispossessed castes and classes hardly make their demands felt and are usually docile during the deliberations. Hence, community-wise discussions are found extremely useful as the project affected families express their preference in an uninhibited manner. In view of this, such meetings were held more frequently than general body meetings. After several rounds of discussions between the authorities and the NGOs, the following criteria was adopted to identify the awardee families who are eligible for economic rehabilitation:

The above criteria for identifying eligible awardee families was discussed threadbare in the Gram Sabha meetings conducted for this purpose. This was followed by a comprehensive survey with the help of a structured schedule. The details regarding the demographic position, assets owned, income and employment from various sources were obtained. In the same survey, an effort has been made to ascertain the option of each eligible family for economic rehabilitation and the reason for exercising such an option has also been obtained.

Market surveys have been conducted by all the NGOs to ascertain the demand potential of various schemes proposed in the plans. On the whole, the process of preparation of village plans is primarily participatory in nature involving the project-affected families at every stage. It may also be mentioned here that it took a fairly long time for the NGOs to complete the task. Initially, NGO personnel stayed in the villages for considerably long periods to build rapport with the project affected families. Then, a long time was spent in checking and rechecking the preferences of project affected families taking into consideration their skills and capabilities.

Schemes proposed by the NGOs: A brief discussion of the schemes proposed by the NGOs for the project affected families is presented below:

Purchase of land for the landless: In the initial stages of the planning process, this scheme was not seriously considered and at one stage the resettlement and rehabilitation authorities were against the NGOs proposing this scheme. However, the NGOs were able to convince the authorities of the need for proposing the land purchase scheme and its viability in the context of the depleted land base of the project affected families in predominantly agrarian societies. Further, it was argued that land purchase scheme is the best as the experience of the schemes implemented so far under various anti-poverty programs was not found to be encouraging. In particular, purchase of land was proposed for Scheduled Caste (SC) households, who are basically landless. However, some sections belonging to Backward Class (BC) have also opted for this scheme.

Since rehabilitation cash grant to each awardee household was fixed at Rs. 8000 uniformly, purchasing land for that meager amount became quite difficult for the NGOs. As a part of mobilizing additional resources, DRDA (District Rural Development Agency) was approached. DRDA came forward to grant Rs. 6000 for each SC household. However, this facility for BCs and other households could not be availed, as this was not permitted under DRDA guidelines. Through such concerted efforts, NGOs were able to buy considerable amount of land in various villages for SC and BC project affected families.

Agriculture related schemes: A number of project affected families have opted for plough bullocks, and cart and bullocks scheme in the plans prepared by the NGOs in view of the fact that land would not be under submergence for a major part of the year and hence could be cultivated.

Animal husbandry schemes: In a backward district like Medak, the rearing of buffaloes and cows is not a usual practice in the countryside. Because of a subsistence economy, the rural population cannot afford to maintain these animals which depend on a large amount of feed and fodder. In contrast to this reality, the authorities insisted that the NGOs should propose crossbred varieties because of their high milk yielding potential. Even among the NGOs, there was no consensus. But sheep and goat schemes were basically suggested for Golla/Kurma (shepherd) communities only as the rearing of these animals is their traditional occupation. At the instance of NGOs, the authorities have initiated efforts to provide the poor access to offshore lands for raising fodder and fuel crops. In other words, usufruct rights to the poor on these lands for their betterment.

Industry, service and business schemes: Schemes like petty trade, provision stores, grain business, etc., were proposed keeping two important things in mind:

Social security schemes: NGOs were confronted with a dilemma as to what productive schemes should be suggested for a large number of awardees who are aged and disabled. The fixed deposit scheme in the bank for a reasonable period of time was considered as the best alternative. The interest amount realized each month goes to the beneficiary, which also serves the purpose of ensuring security to the aged and the disabled.

Non-farm activities: Have not received enough attention in NGO plan exercises due to the subsistence agricultural economies prevalent in project affected villages. Although certain resources are found in these villages, it was observed that setting up industries was beyond the capacity of project affected families. Even starting a small industry on group basis was found to be difficult due to lack of resources and skills. Hence, it was proposed that non-resource based industries can be promoted outside the rehabilitation and resettlement plan by way of generous bank loans to entrepreneurs who would provide employment to project affected families on a sustained basis.

Formation of support institutions: All the NGOs, besides proposing various schemes, added the need for forming support institutions like women sanghas (groups), thrift and credit societies, etc. The starting of these support institutions, the NGOs felt, would go a long way in ensuring benefits in a sustained way from the proposed schemes.

Constraints: The constraints faced by NGOs in the planning process is with regard to the uniform cash grant given to the eligible project affected families for purchase of productive assets. The NGOs felt that the cash grant of Rs. 8000 fixed for each awardee should have been placed at their disposal. This would have allowed reasonable flexibility on the part of NGOs in planning schemes in a more meaningful manner. This is because of the fact that a good number of schemes opted for by the beneficiaries did not require the whole sum while some others required more. NGOs were of the view that more number of project affected families could have benefited with the same amount of money, used differently.

Implementation process: NGO experience: A total of 3508 schemes have been grounded in 24 villages of which 1321 are in the agricultural sector, 1125 in animal husbandry, 486 in industry, service and business. In addition, 576 bank deposits under social security scheme have also been grounded. The details are given in Table – 18.

Table – 18

Sector-wise details of schemes grounded

Sector
Scheme
Number
Agriculture a). Land
584
b). Plough Bullocks 
558
c). Bullock and cart
35
d). Minor irrigation
144
Sub-total
1321
Animal husbandry a). Milch animal
533
b). Jersey cow
31
c). Sheep
330
d). Goat
180
e). Fishing unit
49
f). Poultry yard
2
Sub-total
1125
Industry, service and business a). Kirana (provision) store
127
b). Cloth unit
83
c). Tailoring
25
d). Others
251
Sub-total
486
Social security a). Bank deposit
576
Sub-total
576
Grand total
3508

NGOs have faced certain difficulties in the implementation process vis-à-vis the role of the resettlement and rehabilitation authorities. While NGOs were given a relatively free hand in the preparation of plans, the same kind of autonomy was not witnessed during the implementation phase. This often resulted in some friction between the NGOs and the authorities. In some villages, this resulted in inordinate delays. The required level of cooperation from officials (particularly those at the grassroots) was lacking and this had considerable repercussions.

Although purchasing committees were constituted comprising awardees, officials and NGO representatives, the officials on many occasions rejected the awardee’s choice related to the purchase of the asset. On many occasions purchases were cancelled due to such problems. In animal husbandry schemes, it was felt that places of purchase of assets were thrust upon awardees. Project affected families were taken to places as far as 500 kms away, suffering much hardship. True, some awardees were involved in fictitious purchases in the early stages of the scheme’s implementation. But shifting purchases to such far off destinations was unwarranted. NGOs did not have much say to change the course of events.

NGO experimentation with some animal husbandry schemes met with failure. For example one NGO proposed and grounded Jersey cow scheme for some of the awardees. This was done despite the reluctance of the beneficiaries. The concerned NGO only bothered about the high milk yield of these cows but did not realize that the beneficiaries had no experience of rearing and milking these cows. Besides, there was no demand for cow milk even from hoteliers. As a result, a number of these cows died as the beneficiaries failed to neither provide adequate feed nor evince interest in their maintenance. The few cows that survived neglect became unproductive.

One more lacuna that affected overall efficiency of the economic rehabilitation program is that the presence of NGOs was not ensured for adequate periods in the respective villages so that the schemes grounded are sustained in a concrete way. Since the NGOs were retained for a short period, sustained monitoring of schemes was not possible. This led to undesirable consequences in some villages. It was widely felt that in order to make any economic rehabilitation package sustainable on a long-term basis, the presence of NGOs for a reasonable period of time (say, two or three years) must be a necessary precondition.

NGOs should not depend on the government machinery for providing healthcare services to animals. This observation emerges out of the fact that a lot of casualties occurred in animals in the absence of provision of proper healthcare services for animals by the government in the new settlements. Therefore, NGOs should have made arrangements for proper veterinary staff.

Section – V: Lessons from the Singoor experience

The foregoing analysis has focused basically on the examination of three broad and crucial issues with regard to the Singoor Project:

The cash grant compensation policy did not cover the whole set of project affected families. It has covered only those families who have lost their assets (land and structures). The families who have been living in submerged villages for a long period but who neither have a house or land have not been compensated. Further, families who have been cultivating government land, which has been submerged, have not been sufficiently compensated.

Common property resources that have links with private property resources and which serve as fallback resources for the poor have also not been compensated. Another set of people who have been left out of the policy for compensation are the agricultural laborers, the worst affected lot among the project affected families as the lands that provided them a livelihood have been submerged. The exclusion of the most vulnerable project affected families and assets from the purview of the compensation package can be located in the flaws embodied in the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. In short, this Act is the basic culprit.

The valuation of assets acquired is a critical issue. The experience of the Singoor Project reveals that while the project affected families are comfortable with the valuation of structures, but the same is not true for land. Market value has not been considered for valuation. The authorities chose to consider the recorded values of land transactions. This value is invariably lower as the general tendency in land transactions is to register at low value to avoid higher stamp duty. Instead of this method, had the authorities approached the Lok Adalat, project affected families would have been spared the trouble and expense of approaching courts for higher compensation.

What is significant is the fact that the compensation was inadequate to purchase equivalent assets. Added to that, the compensation amount was not paid in a single installment. Such an arrangement tempted beneficiaries to spend the compensation amount on non-productive things, further depriving them of the ability to purchase land. Small and marginal farmers were the worst hit by such an arrangement. This phenomenon reinforces the right to question the basic assumption of the cash grant compensation policy that the project affected families can repurchase assets to the extent they have lost with the compensation amount!

What is more, the cash grant compensation policy and the rehabilitation cash grant does not enable the project-affected families to settle as cohesive social, family and village units. This is evident from the migration pattern of project affected families in large numbers from evacuated villages to resettle in nearby villages and towns. This is because of the absence of a clear-cut resettlement policy. Had the authorities announced in advance that besides cash grant compensation, villages will be resettled in new settlements with important amenities, disappearance of some villagers would not have occurred. The intervention of authorities to resettle the displaced succeeds to the extent they are able to keep a majority of the people in the new settlement.

The pitfalls in the planning and implementation process extend to the economic rehabilitation program equally. However, the involvement of NGOs has improved the process substantially. But, had the authorities given the NGOs more freedom, the economic rehabilitation program may have been much more effective and would have had a wider reach. It would have certainly mitigated the hardships faced by the projected affected families to a considerable extent. While NGO involvement led to purchase of land being considered especially for the more vulnerable landless sections, the effort to purchase land itself in the vicinity met with little success. Land was either not available, or too expensive. Naturally, project affected families were unwilling to purchase lands that are far away from their settlements as the cultivation of these lands is not a viable proposition.

These issues highlight some limitations of resettlement and rehabilitation policy. Overall, some fundamental questions need to be answered: Can project affect families be resettled in new settlements without losing assets what they actually had? Can project affected families be moved to places without a concern for settling them as cohesive social, family and village units? Answering these questions effectively would, it is hoped, lead to more enlightened conception and implementation of resettlement and rehabilitation policies in the future.


Authors

S. Galab and M. Gopinath Reddy are members of faculty, Centre for Economic & Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad.


References

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Galab, S., & Reddy, M.G. (1994, March). Village rehabilitation plan for Jangam Osrikapally village. Hyderabad: Centre for Economic and Social Studies.

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