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Resource Center
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No Compensation For Traders Evicted From Hampi Bazaar
December 26, 2011
 
No Compensation For Traders Evicted From Hampi Bazaar


We have changed our views on the matter: Deputy Commissioner

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/article2748499.ece

26 December 2011

Divya Gandhi, Hampi:

Having lived a life of uncertainty for five months in temporary shelters and distinctly unsanitary conditions, the 314 families, who were evicted from the Hampi bazaar opposite the iconic 16th century Virupaksha temple, now fear the worst.

They are apprehensive that the new site in Kadirampura village, identified by the district administration for their rehabilitation, has neither water nor electricity and is too far from the heritage site upon which their livelihoods depend.

Worse, not a single one of the families will be compensated for the loss of livelihood or residence, according to Bellary Deputy Commissioner Amalan Aditya Biswas, who is also the chairman of the Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority (HWHAMA).

Mr. Biswas told The Hindu that only six of the 314 families had ownership rights over their commercial establishments or homes, and that all other families would be “treated as encroachers” ineligible for compensation.

Ironically, a 75-page ‘Resettlement plan for the Hampi Bazaar area' by the HWHAMA in October 2010, had identified 346 families and had chalked out compensation packages for each, based on the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy (2007) among others.

People who lost commercial plots and residences – either with or without legal titles – and even tenants, are entitled to monetary compensation for the loss, shifting assistance and subsistence allowance ranging between Rs. 1.15 lakh and Rs. 20,000, according to the resettlement plan.

“We have changed our views on the matter. We considered the damage to the pavilion by the encroachments and decided they did not deserve compensation,” Mr. Biswas said.

He said he expected the rehabilitation process to be complete by February 12 and added that amenities such as water and electricity would be provided.

Notice

In July this year, scores of people — traders, restaurant and guesthouse owners and many others — who have lived and worked here for generations and contributed to a tourism-centric economy, were given a 12-hour notice before a demolition drive of “illegal encroachments” in the temple complex. The bazaar was demolished as it had damaged the temple's 700-m-long colonnaded pavilion, the district administration had claimed.

Historians and scholars of the Vijayanagara Empire including John M. Fritz and George Michell were, however, outraged at the demolition of the “living heritage” and predicted dire consequences on the regional economy that revolved largely around tourism.