India’s NHPC issues resettlement, rehab policy

India’s National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC) has issued a draft Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy outlining the developer’s proposed practices for future land acquisition and displacement of residents.

NHPC developed the policy in compliance with the National Policy for Resettlement and Rehabilitation established by India’s Ministry of Rural Development in 2003.

“NHPC has a commitment to reconstruct and rebuild the livelihoods of project-affected families with the objective to improve or at least restore the standard of living of project-affected families,” NHPC said. “NHPC has therefore framed a draft Resettlement &Rehabilitation policy to benchmark its experience and practice of R&R over the past decades.”

The document contains three parts devoted to policy outlines, guidelines for implementation, and community and social development.

The policy says, to the extent feasible, NHPC will avoid acquisition of productive farmland and homestead property and, wherever feasible, the utility will avoid or minimize displacement of residents. It also establishes a Public Consultation and Information Center to assess local needs and promote transparency with project-affected families.

The policy also outlines practices for replacement of housing, a preference for hiring affected people in appropriate jobs, and programs of occupational rehabilitation and training.

The draft may be obtained from NHPC’s Internet site, www.nhpcindia.com. The utility is receiving comments on the draft until September 10 via e-mail at ushabhatt@nhpc.nic.in and shahid_2@rediffmail.com.

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