Committee refutes claims of discrepancies in Hollongi Airport Rehabilitation and Resettlement Scheme

[ Amar Sangno ]

ITANAGAR, 19 Feb: Refuting the allegation levelled against him by the Chakma Displaced Family Justice Demand Committee (CDFJC) over implementation of the Hollongi greenfield airport Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Scheme, R&R Committee president Bijoy Ranjan Chakma on Monday claimed that the allegations of anomalies and misappropriation are “baseless and hold no ground.”

“For the welfare of our community, we demanded that the state government transfer the rehabilitation and resettlement amount through direct benefit transfer (DBT) so that we could implement it by ourselves. We did not ask the government to directly transfer the amount to cheat our own people,” said Bijoy.

“Indeed, we are grateful to the Arunachal Pradesh Government for transferring the scheme amount through DBT and letting the committee implement it judiciously,” he added.

Without naming anyone, Bijoy further claimed “the CDFJC movement is a conspiracy from outsiders”, which he claimed instigated the youths to sabotage ongoing developmental works of the airport.

“Some groups based in Delhi and Guwahati are instigating our youth,” he claimed.

The R&R Committee president claimed that the district administration is monitoring the work every 15 days and there is no question of misusing the fund. He reiterated that “the scheme is still in its implementation stage and the allegation of anomalies is concocted.”

The CDFJC alleged misappropriation of Rs 19 crore under the Hollongi greenfield airport R&R scheme and anomalies by the committee. The CDFJC had lodged an FIR against the committee members at the Balijan police station claiming massive anomalies. It also alleged that the houses built by the committee are of substandard quality and there is lack of transparency.

“All houses constructed are sub-standard. It testifies that there are huge discrepancies and anomalies,” said Primoy Chakma, CDFJC general secretary.

According to sources in the district administration, each house unit was sanctioned at Rs 10.63 lakhs, which includes toilet.  Under the R&R scheme package there are six significant components, such as housing, temple, school, health centre, internal road and shifting, etc.

The total amount for R&R of 156 displaced Chakma families was Rs 18.20 crore, which was released by the district administration in two instalments.

The R&R Committee had submitted a representation to the state government on 25 November, 2019 seeking that the amount for displaced Chakma families be deposited to the R&R committee joint account, since the committee had taken responsibility of vacating and shifting the Chakma families within three months.

Subsequently, Doimukh MLA Tana Hali requested the government for DBT of the R&R scheme amount to displaced Chakma families.

The state government had considered the request from the Papum Pare deputy commissioner, stating that there is possibility of law and order problem if NIT/ tender is floated for construction of R&R project for the Chakma refugees due to the ongoing protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

On 14 January, 2020 then secretary of the Department of Land Management issued an order stating that the entire housing amount for each of the 156 Chakma families be deposited through the account of the Chakma R&R Committee, and that the amount be deposited in two instalments – 70 percent as first instalment and 30 percent as second instalment after complete vacation of plot from the airport site by the 156 families.

Accordingly, an amount of Rs 12.74 crore was released on 3rd February 2020 as first instalment to the R&R Committee by the district administration and the second instalment of Rs 5.46 crore was released on 9th October, 2020.