MIRZA, Feb 1 – Flood ravaged landless families of Palasbari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district submitted two memoranda before the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup, Dr J Balaji through Additional Deputy Commissioner Kamal Baishya on Thursday and demanded early rehabilitation of the families who were residing in the Palasbari-Gumi embankment at Futuri, Simina and Guimara etc villages under Palasbari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district.
Sources informed that one memorandum was submitted by the flood-ravaged families of Futuri village and the other was submitted by the South Kamrup Erosion Protection Sangram Samiti for rehabilitation of the flood victims of Palasbari LAC .
The memoranda claimed that there are over 400 flood-affected landless families languishing in a 4-km stretch of Palasbari-Gumi embankment at Futuri, Simina, Guimara etc villages under Palasbari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district since the past 30 to 40 years.
The memoranda further stated that flood-induced unabated erosion over the years by the Brahmaputra had eroded land and other properties of the ill-fated families, which had compelled the concerned flood victims to shift their homes to the Palasbari-Gumi embankment at Futuri, Guimara and Simina villages in Palasbari LAC.
The memo also stated that the Palasbari-Gumi project (Water Resources) Division (PGP) of Mirza in Kamrup district had presently been implementing a Rs 22.66 crore project for raising and strengthening of the same embankment, i.e., Palasbari- Gumi embankment, in which the landless families had been residing and added that the PGP (Water Resources) Division had allegedly been evicting the homes of some of the landless families residing in the embankment at Futuri village by constant filling of earth over their homes without rehabilitating them in safer places.
“We don’t want to be evicted from our shelter over the embankment as we do not have money to purchase land or to shift to other places. We therefore demand immediate halt to the work of raising and strengthening of the embankment by filling earth so that our houses, which are situated on both sides of the embankment, are not destroyed,” pleaded Mohammed Ali, an embankment dweller whose house has been destroyed by earth- filling under the diretion of a contractor named Ashok Agarwala, who has been awarded the contract of raising and strengthening of the embankment.
It was pointed out that the concerned landless families of Futuri and Simina villages are genuine indigenous citizens, and that if their houses are evicted without rehabilitation, then the Fundamental Rights of the landless flood victims would be violated.
It may be mentioned here that houses of several families, including that of Hashim Ali, Bamunshah Ali, Tayab Ali, Majmil Ali, Kitab Shah Ali etc (all belonging to Futuri village under Palasbari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district) have been damaged during the earth-filling process in the concerned embankment.
Significantly, Additional Deputy Commissioner Kamal Baishya is on record to have immediately directed the Executive Engineer, PGP (Water Resources) Division to stop damaging houses of the landless families residing in the concerned embankment by the earth-filling job. Accordingly, Executive Engineer Rai Baruah put a stop to earth-filling in the concerned segments of the embankment where the houses of the landless families are located.
The memo mentioned that there was plenty of Government land available in Palasbari LAC, including the dead Dholi river near Futuri village, in which the landless families could be rehabilitated. It therefore requested the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup to take appropriate measures for immediate rehabilitation of the aforementioned landless families in the dead Dholi river.
The president of South Kamrup Erosion Protection Sangram Samiti, Jayanta Goswami and vice president Rojani Saloi requested the DC, Kamrup to provide incentives to the landless flood victims so that they could shift whatever little was left of their so-called houses during the rehabilitation process.
The Samiti further requested Dr Balaji not to order eviction of the poor flood-ravaged landless families in the name of raising and strengthening of the Palasbari-Gumi embankment.