Chakma families refuse to accept prefab houses

ITANAGAR, Oct 22: The Chakma Rehabilitation and Resettlement Committee has expressed resentment over the state government’s move to provide prefabricated houses to the 156 Chakma families who would be displaced owing to the construction of the greenfield airport in Hollongi.
In a representation to the governor, the committee on Tuesday alleged that the state government was backtracking from its earlier promise of providing SPT type buildings to the affected families.
“The Chakma R&R Committee, vide its letter dated 2 September, 2019, gave a no objection-cum-consent certificate to the Papum Pare DC to implement the RR plan with SPT type houses. Therefore, under no circumstances we shall accept any deviation from the R&R plan agreed with the district administration.
“If the houses are constructed through prefab structures, we will reject it and will withdraw the no objection certificate, as the terms of the consent have been blatantly violated, and the state government shall be responsible for it,” it stated.
Also referring to the case filed by Chakma families with the National Human Rights Commission, the committee said the case had been withdrawn by the complainant (Sadhan K Chakma) “on good faith, based on written deposition made by the state government that displaced and non-displaced Chakmas affected by the Hollongi airport project will be taken care of as per the provisions of the 2013 RR guidelines.
“Hence, if the state government does not withdraw the prefab proposal, we shall be constrained to knock the doors of the NHRC and reopen the case again, and the sole responsibility shall lie on the state government itself,” the committee added.
It said the proposal for construction of prefab houses went against both the written and verbal assurances given by the authorities of the state government during the public hearing held with the Chakmas on 17 September, 2014. “Since the beginning, including in the detailed project report, there had not been any reference or mention of prefab houses,” it said.
“These types of houses are not suitable for rural areas. There is genuine concern and fear that in the event of any damage or destruction of the prefab houses, in part or whole, the house owners won’t be in a position to either repair or rebuild the houses as prefab houses are not locally available, and even if available, the Chakmas are too poor to afford them,” it said.