Guwahati, January 7: Members of the Laika and Dodhia Rehabilitation Committee have decried the "indifference" of Tinsukia district administration, alleging that basic facilities have not been provided at the makeshift camp where protesters have taken refuge for the last 18 days.
The members of the committee have been spearheading an agitation for rehabilitation of over 1400 families of Laika and Dodhia, two villages under Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Upper Assam.
Meanwhile, a pregnant woman camping with the protesters at the makeshift protest camp at Lezaihola Borguri near the office of the Tinsukia deputy commissioner fell ill and had to be admitted to the Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) in Dibrugarh in a critical condition.
Kusmita Morang (24) of Dodhia village was referred to AMCH from the Tinsukia Civil Hospital on Wednesday.
The Assam government had on December 30, 2020, constituted a ten-member committee to find out ways for relocation and rehabilitation of the residents by the end of this month.
Last year also, the government gave a written assurance to rehabilitate the families on a 470-hectare plot in the Ouguri area of Upper Dehing Reserve Forest. But it did not materialise as the Forest Department objected to the move, saying that 8,000 trees will have to be uprooted for land clearance.
Now, a 166-hectare plot, currently a tea garden area at Paharpur, has been identified for the purpose in the district but relocation would require clearing the tea garden area.
The villagers, who belong to the Mising community, mostly comprised of displaced people (by the earthquake of 1950) from Dhemaji and Dibrugarh districts, have been residing in the two forest villages for the past several decades now.
The villages are cut off from the mainland and devoid of basic amenities like electricity and water supply besides health care and education. Flood and erosion have been a perennial problem as well.
The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 prohibits human settlement inside a national park, and hence, no development has been carried out in the two villages.