BOMDILA, Apr 13: Almost 50 years after their land was acquired by the Indian Army, 152 families of three villages in West Siang district were given replica compensation cheques amounting to Rs 5.39 crore at a simple ceremony in Senge village on Thursday.
The three villages are Senge, Nyukmadung and Lish.
The compensation amount at Rs 4,20,000 works out to Rs 6.38 crore, but government charges will be deducted from the money to be transferred to a bank account of a member of each family.
The token cheques were given away by Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Phurpa Tsering and West Kameng deputy commissioner Sonal Swaroop.
The chief minister, who gave away a replica cheque of Rs 3.97 crore for the families of Senge village, regretted that the villagers had to wait for almost 50 years to get their land compensation. The land was acquired after 1962.
“This has been possible due to the combined effort of the Ministry of Defence, Rijiju and the local MLA,” he said.
To prevent any malpractices, he asked the villagers to report any officials asking for bribes in releasing compensation directly to local MLA and to the DC, assuring that errant officers will be arrested and suspended.
Rijiju who gave away a replica cheque of Rs 93.6 lakh for Lish village, said the district administration would sort out a dispute over beneficiary list within a week for the compensation amount to be transferred to their accounts.
He also handed over a replica cheque of Rs 49.3 lakh for Nyukmadung village council, which would be distributed to each beneficiary identified.
Terming it as an auspicious day, the Union minister said he had come to celebrate as the villagers are set to get back their rightful compensation after almost 50 years. He attributed it to the “team effort” of chief minister, the Indian Army and local MLA.
Also speaking on the occasion, Phurpa Tsering advised the villagers to put the compensation fund to good use such as education, health and business and to desist from wasting it on gambling and partying.
The villagers in their speech thanked Khandu, Rijiju, Tsering and the Indian Army for facilitating the compensation relief.
They also thanked Khandu and Rijiju for making possible the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa to West Kameng district. The villagers appreciated the duo for successful conduct of Buddha Mahotsava in Bomdila this year.
As token of their appreciation, the villagers gifted them with albums that contained a collection of photos of these three events.
A colourful cultural programme by Monpa and Bhutanese communities was held at the ceremony.
Brigadier SS Dahiya of the 40 Brigade, local administrative officials and other army officials attended the ceremony. (CMMC)