GUWHATI: In view of the demands of the indigenous people living in the two villages of Laika and Dodhia in Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday asked the Environment and Forest and Revenue Department to permanently rehabilitate the families by January 31.
Charing a high-level meeting to find out ways to rehabilitate around 1455 families from Laikia and Dodhia villages at the conference hall in Assam Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Sonowal directed the Environment and Forest Department to find out modalities in close coordination with the Revenue Department and rehabilitate the families elsewhere by January 31. Sonowal also constituted a ten-member committee with Environment and Forest Minister as its Chairperson and Revenue and Disaster Management Minister its member and Principal Secretary Forest as its member secretary. The other members of the committee are MP, Lakhimpur, MLA Chabua, MLA Dhemaji, Commissioner and Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Deputy Commissioner Tinsukia and Lakhimpur.
As terms of reference, Chief Minister Sonowal asked the committee to find a logical and permanent solution to the problem of rehabilitation of families presently residing in Laika and Dodhia under Dibru Saikhowa National Park within one month.
Chief Minister Sonowal in response to earmarking of the new lands for the permanent rehabilitation of the families, asked the Environment and Forest Department to conduct survey and complete it within one week so that rehabilitation process can be started on an emergent basis. The Chief Minister taking a humane look of the problems of the families also asked the committee to design a rehabilitation package to include needs of drinking water, electricity, immediate medical requirements etc of the rehabilitated families. He also said that the new area of rehabilitation should not be flood prone and erosion prone and once rehabilitated the dwellers should take steps to plant saplings in their dwelling places to sustain green nature of the area.
Minister for Environment and Forests Parimal Suklabaidya, Minister of State (i/c) for Panchayat and Rural Development Naba Kumar Doley, MP Pradan Baruah, MLAs Dr. Ranoj Pegu, Vinod Hazarika, Ramendra Narayan Kalita, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister Paban Kumar Borthakur, Principal Secretary Environment and Forests Avinash Joshi, PCCF AM Singh and other government senior officers were present at the meeting.
Later Chief Minister Sonowal also met a delegation of the families of Laika and Dodhia villages and talked to them, listened to their grievances and assured them that they will be rehabilitated within 31 January, 2020.