news Monday, June 16, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| June 13, 2014| 9.00 am IST They have been fighting a battle for almost three decades for compensation and rehabilitation. More than 4,000 families displaced for India’s biggest naval base ‘INS Kadamba’ (Seabird) have been languishing in four rehabilitation colonies in Karwar and Ankola. In the last 28 years, letters have been written to Chief Ministers, MLAs and MPs. Some went unanswered, others answered after months. But villagers are relieved that one of their letters got an instant reply and assurance. The villagers on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office. In less than two hours, they received a reply to their fax. “We were surprised when we got a reply. The reply indicated that the PM will try to address the issue during his visit to Goa this weekend. We are hoping he gives us a chance to meet him, “ P M Tandel who leads the agitation told The News Minute. Tandel says that for years they have written to many leaders, but most times no one even bothered to reply. In 1984, the families were displaced without any rehabilitation or compensation. There were people belonging to fishermen and farming community who were displaced. The then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had assured compensation in 1986, but it never came. After a much protracted legal battle, in 2012 the Supreme Court asked the government to pay compensation, but that too on the basis of land values in 1984. Tandel and other villagers hope that the Prime Minister’s office that has shown the courtesy to send a reply will take some concrete step to help the families.