The grievance redressal authority (GRA) to decide on disputes over compensation to the oustees of Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) on river Narmada, has been set up, the Madhya Pradesh government has told the Supreme Court.The state government informed a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar that in pursuance to the apex court’s March three direction, five benches of the GRA have been appointed.
The bench, which also comprised Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, noted the submission of Additional Solicitor General P S Patwalia that in compliance with the court order, an office memorandum was issued on March 9 indicating the appointment of five benches of GRA.
The apex court on March 3 had asked the state government to approach the high court for sparing two judicial officers to preside over the GRA for deciding the compensation disputes of the oustees. It had directed the state chief secretary to approach the registrar general of the high court and seek a recommendation in this regard.
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The bench had earlier said that to ensure a “better deal” for the project-affected families, it was willing to “twist the arms” of the executive and asked Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) and the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra to suggest names of experts who could be appointed to the committee which would deal with the issue of resettlement and rehabilitation of the oustees.
The apex court had however made it clear to the parties, including activist Medha Patekar-led NBA, that it would not allow stalling of the project.
The issue of compensation will cover 193 villages in Madhya Pradesh, 33 in Maharashtra and 19 in Gujarat. The apex court is hearing petitions pertaining to rehabilitation of oustees of the project.