Mumbai: Hearing a bunch of petitions seeking rehabilitation of those displaced by Tarapur Atomic Power Project, the Bombay High Court on Saturday directed that the Relief and Rehabilitation department of the Union government be made a respondent.
BJP leader and former MP Ram Naik, who has intervened in the matter, argued before the bench headed by Justice V M Kanade that the department was concerned with the rehabilitation of those who lost their lands for the project.
As the R & R Department wasn`t a party to the petitions, the court said that it should be impleaded, and issued a notice to the department. The hearing was adjourned beyond Diwali vacation.
The petitions have been filed by local villagers. Earlier the High Court had asked Maharashtra government to pay Rs 20.37 lakh towards `rent` to 163 families.
The petitions allege that the Government and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India did not keep the promise of paying rent -- until alternative houses were provided to displaced people -- for the period between June 2006 to March 2007.
In 2004, the High Court had said the affected families should be provided some money towards the rent by NPCIL, until they got possession of houses.
Naik, who has intervened on behalf of the villagers, said the rent was to be paid to 163 families at the rate of Rs 2,500 per month, and it was not being paid. NPCIL being a Union Government-owned company, the responsibility lay with the Centre, he said.
However, the HC asked Maharashtra government to pay the rent for the time being, and said it would decide later who was liable to pay the amount.