Encroachments and evictions should not new in Assam. From ‘unlawful immigrants’ to indigenous populations, everybody has felt the brunt of evictions within the state.
On Could 13, the administration got here down closely on a whole bunch of residents in Guwahati’s Cachal space. The incessant rains additionally couldn’t cease them from clamping down on their goals and houses. The residents had been left surprised as authorities carried out the eviction amid rains, leaving them homeless and their futures in peril.
Whereas chatting with the media, one of many residents mentioned, “I requested them quite a bit for a bit of extra time. I needed simply one other 10 extra minutes to maneuver out my belongings. However they didn’t enable me!”
In response to the authorities, the Silsako Beel is a wetland to be preserved close to Borbari and was underneath the clutches of unlawful settlers for a few years. The evictions had been a part of town administration’s efforts to make town flood-free.
Narayan Deka, the Chairman of the Guwahati Metropolitan Growth Authority (GMDA) mentioned, “Silsako wetland measures round 1800 bighas (hectares). However solely round 400 bighas (hectares) are being occupied by the wetland and the remainder of 1200 bighas (hectares) are being encroached by unlawful settlers. If we wish to make Guwahati a flood-free metropolis, then we have to dig your complete Silsako wetland and improve the storage of water there.”
Nevertheless, the residents rejected the unlawful settler declare and mentioned they’d inhabited the realm for greater than 20 years. And so they level out that in contrast to shanties with no home numbers or electrical energy connections, these houses had been allotted each: they’d home numbers and electrical energy connections allotted and accepted by the Guwahati Municipal Company.
Tapan Chaudhary, a resident for over 15 years, mentioned he by no means defaulted on his electrical energy dues even as soon as.
Nevertheless, the GMDA chairman denied the availability of land possession by way of holding numbers. “Electrical energy or the holding quantity doesn’t present land possession. We have now devoted guidelines within the land legislation to supply land possession. GMC holding quantity permits GMC to gather taxes from the folks residing in Guwahati”, he added.
Whereas the administration has been clear that they want to defend the wetland by evicting a whole bunch of residents, they’re additionally developing roads within the Bundajaan Beel within the Narengi space of Guwahati. Bundajaan is a wetland that connects Silsako and the Brahmaputra.
The upcoming street in Bundajaan Beel will probably be 35 ft vast and is being constructed after partially pulling down a number of homes.
Journalist-turned-politician and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief Manjit Mahanta questioned the administration’s transfer of developing a street over the Bundajan wetland.
He mentioned, “Bundajan, which is part of Silsako Beel, has been allowed to be depleted to assemble a street for the CM’s political particular secretary. Does it not depict a double normal? It’s the similar wetland solely with totally different names. Each are interconnected”.
The GMDA believes that developing two service roads on each side of the wetland will facilitate the straightforward disposal of waste collected from the wetlands. “From Silsako to Bunda, we’ll assemble two service roads. Will probably be constructed in order that the waste which we gather from the Silsako wetland might be disposed of in far-away locations”, the GMDA chairman mentioned.
The GMDA, to protect the Silsako wetland, is even planning to take away the remaining dwellings from the occupied wetland.
Whereas the federal government appears agency in its try to clear wetlands, its actions have left hundreds homeless at a time when the area is witnessing incessant rains. It stays to be seen whether or not these folks will probably be provided any compensation or alternate plots for residence.