The NC Hills Indigenous Students’ Forum (NCHISF) has set 15-day deadline to the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) authorities to compensate the affected families, whose lands were accrued and damaged during Broad Gauge (BG) railway line conversion in Dima Hasao.
It may be mentioned that with the construction of the BG railway line from Lumding to Silchar, more than 500 families in the Dima Hasao district have been affected as their lands were accrued and damaged by the railways for BG conversion.
The authorities of the Northeast Frontier Railway have caused heavy and extensive damage to the property of the tribal people during the course of implementing of the project for Broad Gauge conversion.
The NC Hills Indigenous Students’ Forum (NCHISF) has been agitating in a democratic way since long with a demand to properly compensate the affected families.
To discuss the issue of compensation, the first meeting was called on February 27 at Haflong, the district headquarters of Dima Hasao district, but the NCHISF delegates ‘walked’ out of the meeting due to absence of top-level officials of the railway department in the meeting.
After that, on February 28, 2018, for the second time, another meeting was held at the conference hall of the Dima Hasao Deputy Commissioner’s office in presence of the DRM of the Lumding Division of Railway, M Pramod Kumar Jain, Chief Engineer of NF Railway Rajendra Prasad Jingar, Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch), Assam, Pallab Bhattacharya, Dima Hasao DC Amitabh Rajkhowa and Dima Hasao SP Prashanta Saikia.
Following a threadbare discussion on the issue in that meeting, the railway authorities sought one month’s time to compensate the affected people.
But though one month has crossed after that meeting, the process of compensation has not progressed.
In such a situation, the NCHISF gave the railway authorities three days, but as the railway authorities have failed to take any step, the Dima Hasao DC sought one more month.
In this regard, on Wednesday, a meeting was called by the NCHSF among the affected families where responding to the DC’s request, it was decided to give a 15-day deadline to the railway authorities to release compensation.
NCHISF President David Kaivom, talking to Northeast Now, on Wednesday said, “The railway authorities have been given a deadline up to April 18, 2018 to solve the compensation issue. If the railway authority fails to keep its promise of compensation this time too, then after April 19, railway blockade will be observed in Dima Hasao.”