GUWAHATI, Dec 27 - The Bokakhat-based voluntary organisation Jeepal Krishak Shramik Sangha (JKSS) has warned that it would be forced to launch an agitation to prevent execution of the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-sponsored Kaziranga Project to protect the Kaziranga National Park from floods, if the interests of the local people are ignored by the project executing agencies.
In the face of the JKSS demand to hold public hearings for executing the project under which construction of around 12-km-long dyke from Mariahola to Difalupathar, via Dhansirimukh, has been proposed, a two-day public hearing was held by the Bokakhat subdivisional authorities on December 24 and 26 at Dhansirimukh and Agaratoli respectively.
The JKSS alleged that the Bokakhat subdivisional authorities and the Flood and River Erosion Management Agency of Assam (FREMAA) authorities undermined the pleas of the local people, who are mainly peasants, for providing them with the detailed information regarding the construction of the dyke. They have been maintaining that there are problems in disclosing such information in public hearings.
The people who attended the public hearings demanded information on the reports on the environmental impact assessment, socioeconomic impacts, etc., and the detailed project report. The denial of the authorities to provide all these information was resented by the common people who took part in the public hearings, said the JKSS.
They also resented the absence of any environmental scientist, social scientist, representative of the Pollution Control Board and the Deputy Commissioner of the district in the hearings. Moreover, the authorities concerned have not notified the hearings as per the norms, the JKSS alleged.
The authorities have also been maintaining that only those people who have myadi patta of the land under their possession would be entitled to get compensation against land acquirement.
But the fact remains that many of those shown as authorised pattadars in government records expired several decades back. If the authorities pay compensation only to the pattadars, 99 per cent of the people being affected for losing their paddy fields and residential areas due to the execution of the project would be deprived of compensation, said the JKSS.
Representatives of the Takam Mising Porin Kebang (TMPK–All Mising Students’ Union) were also present in the hearings.