ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gundlakamma Reservoir Project

Developmental Rhetoric, Uprooted Lives

Any developmental activity can be meaningful only when the dispossessed and displaced people are taken care of and adequately rehabilitated. Nevertheless, their basic rights to life and decent rehabilitation are often violated by governments and project authorities. Such violations are particularly evident in the Gundlakamma Reservoir Project in Andhra Pradesh.

Resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R) for “project-affected” people continues to be an issue of serious concern, given that those who are displaced by development projects are still disregarded by governments/authorities in project implementation. This problem persists for six-and-a-half decades since modern development projects were initiated in India; three-and-a-half decades since developmental/rehabilitation theories began considering R&R of displaced people as a part of development activity itself (Rao 2011); 14 years since the commencement of the first national policy on R&R in 2003; and four years since the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement Act was passed in 2013. The oustees are not only forcibly deprived of their lands and livelihoods and uprooted from their habitations (homes, lands, and habitats) in the project-affected areas, but are often not cared for and continue to be deprived of proper rehabilitation. In most cases, they belong to disadvantaged and marginalised sections. Their right to life is violated (in the name of “development”), although Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees citizens the right to a decent life. Such violations and refusals of R&R can be seen particularly in the case of Gundlakamma Reservoir Project (GRP) in Andhra Pradesh. This article is based on the author’s own experience of displacement, resettlement, and rehabilitation around this project.

Gundlakamma Reservoir Project

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Updated On : 17th Jul, 2018


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