Cachar DC takes stock of rehabilitation of enclave dwellers
FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Dec 29: Cachar DC S Viswathan paid a visit to tanpur border outpost today to check the progress of the ongoing works for the rehabilitation of 212 families presently residing on the other side of the fence which was constructed about 8 years back.
He was accompanied by Baranya Das, ADC, along with other government officials and a team of media-persons.
Speaking to the media-persons, DC Viswathan said the rehabilitation process of the affected families would be completed soon. Each family will get 10 kattas of land to construct their homes. The land on which presently they are residing can be used by them but only for agricultural purposes. The total inhabitants on the other side of the fence consist of 39 families, of which 31 belong to Muslim community and the remaining eight to Hindu community. The families have been stranded in no man’s land for the last few years.
Speaking on the issue of realignment, the DC said a proposal in this regard has already been sent to the Centre. On the issue of constructing border-haats, he said a proposal for one border-haat in Laborputa has been sent to Bangladesh Government. The Bangladesh authorities are looking into the matter. Om Prakash Tripathi, DIG BSF, said Cachar shares 36.8 km of intertiol boundary with Bangladesh starting from Jalalpur to Tukargram while Karimganj shares 91.2 km of border.
Tripathi further said such problems exist in Dhubri and char areas of Assam and also in Tripura as well as some other parts of the northeast region. Border Security Force is undertaking surveys for the successful completion of the rehabilitation process. There are a total of 14 such areas in Cachar and Karimganj districts where people have been stranded on the other side of the fence. According to him, all cross-border crimes like smuggling in cattle, contraband arms and ammunitions have been brought under control. The force is keeping a tight vigil on the border.
Viswathan pointed out the administrative machinery has worked tirelessly for the past six months to chart out rehabilitation package for the people on the other side. The origil proposal was put forward by Khaleda Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in 2012. People residing on no man’s land are leading a life without any basic amenities. The gates are opened and closed altertively after every two hours starting from 7 am to 5 pm.
Speaking to the scribes, Anil Das, breadwinner of a 6 member family, said “We do not have any other option but to wait till morning for the gates to open so that we can go to the Indian side.”
On being asked if Bangladesh people trouble them in any manner, Das said earlier they used to, but now they do not trouble the stranded Indians at all. On being asked by S Viswathan if he goes to school, Imrul, a student of class 5 in Boleswar High School, said as they belong to poor families so they have to work and thus cannot go to school on a regular basis.
Fariz Ali, a middle aged sick man and a labour by profession, said he cannot go for medical treatment as he is extremely poor. He said everyone residing on the other side of the border is malnourished. They do not have any avenues to provide a better life to their children. They have to rely on river Kushiara for drinking water as there are no facilities of potable water. M Begum, a house wife, said it is very difficult to get a good match for their daughters as people living on the Indian side do not want to establish matrimonial relations with those residing on the other side of the fence.
Riaz Uddin, who is the only matriculate person, said he runs a tutorial home on the Indian side for children. Around 60 kids are presently enrolled in his institute. He said future of the children is extremely bleak as they do not have access to post matriculation academic study. S Viswathan said 80 bighas of land, 2 km from tanpur, have been identified for the rehabilitation of the affected families.
Arun Varma, Officiating Commandant of 131 Bn BSF, said the fencing was completed by the Indian Government for the purpose of tiol security. Presently, 346 poles have been erected and in coordition with Assam Power Distribution Company Limited, BSF will illumite the poles by providing power for round the clock security of the border. Om Prakash Tripathi assured that the force will cooperate and try to help the people in every manner possible for their rehabilitation.