Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 29 Feb. 2016 (4 decades on, Siruvani dam displaced tribals wait for justice)

Kerala 4 decades on, Siruvani dam displaced tribals wait for justice During 1970s, of Muthikulam triblas of Siruvani hills in Kerala were forced to relocate themselves to Chingampara forests area. This was how a settlement constituted 24 Muduga tribes families facilitated the construction of the Siruvani dam, a major source of drinking water for Coimbatore city and its surrounding areas in Tamil Nadu. Four decades later, the Muduga tribe has volumes to talk about the breach of official promises. Their houses are in ruins and the tribal people have to walk about 3km to fetch water from the reservoir as the decades-old water supply mechanism stopped functioning years ago. Most of the children in the Chingampara colony do not attend school as the nearest school is about 20 km away. The old school at Muthikulam got submerged in the dam waters. Now the colony has only an Anganwadi. Rajan, a differently-abled member of colony reported that the new reservoir came up in the area from where our families had been forced to move out. The dam was commissioned in 1984, but our settlement remains neglected. The tribals are still awaiting justice even after four decades. Except for the once-in-a-week visit of a junior public health nurse, there is no health care facility for the people.  Biju another affected stated that in 1971 we were promised pucca housing with water and power connections and toilets, besides compensation of Rs.10,000 but nothing happened. He felt that their rehabilitation was a mockery and they deserve a decent rehabilitation as compensation.

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