Fencing Bangladesh border displaces people

December 19th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by ANI  

Agartala, Dec 19 (ANI): Hundreds of people displaced due to border fencing took to the streets in Tripura demanding rehabilitation.
However, opposition Congress which under the banner of ”Tripura Simanta Bhumi Suraksa Committee” (Tripura Border Land Protection Committee) organised the rally claiming that the people in the border area are not being rehabilitated due to the State Governments, apathetic attitude.
Shah Alam, a protestor demanded compensation and rehabilitation from the government and believes that no one is against the border fencing.
“We are not against the fencing, but we want proper compensation with rehabilitation. The government after talk with Bangladesh can erect the fence on the zero line of the international border, then these problems would not have come up,” said Shah Alam..
Moreover, the Congress party also alleged that at many places, the fence has been raised beyond 600-700 yards instead of being just raised to 150 yards.
This was done to cut the cost of road construction, by the side of existing roads being patrolled by Border Security Force (BSF).
Sudip Roy Barman, a Congress MLA said that due to the raising of the fencing, 600-700 yards inside Indian territory, many people are displaced. They are also losing their farm land which was their sole source of earning”.
He alleged that though some Central agencies have been allocated the fencing work, actually CPM are actually executing the work in the field to reduce the cost of carrying material to the actual site of construction and making of new roads the fence is being raised by the side of the existing roads.
“The Central Government tried to set up the barbed fencing at the zero point, but because of Bangladesh raising some objection, it has been decided to construct the barbed fencing 150 yards from the zero point. Now, the question is how come 600-700 yards after the zero point-barbed fencing has been constructed. This is illegal resulting in the displacement of a large section of people,” said Sudip Roy Barman, a Congress Member of Legislative Assembly.
He also alleged that inspite of the centre sanctioning around rupees .410 million and homes for few of hundred families under the Indira AwasS Yojana (IAY), the State Government is misusing the funds which should be used for rehabilitation of the of the displaced people.
According to official report, an estimated 8,730 families, 13 government institutions, five temples, four mosques, 44 irrigation projects, two government schools and many markets along the border with Tripura have come within the 150-yards belt from the zero line of the border.
The Tripura Government had sent a proposal for grant of rupees 930 million to the centre to rehabilitate the affected families, but the Union Government is yet to respond.
India has been erecting barbed wire fencing along the border that Tripura shares with Bangladesh to prevent cross-border smuggling, infiltration, militant movement and trans-border crime.
The Bangladesh Government and its border guards, the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), have objected to the border fencing at more than 200 places along the border with West Bengal, Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam.

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