Explore the possibilities

The 186 Chakma refugee families, who have been displaced due to construction of Hollongi green field airport have been resettled in the Kokila near Hollongi area by the state government. The Chakmas who are originally from Bangladesh were settled in Kokila-Hollongi area in 1964 when they fled the country due to religious persecution and construction of the Kaptai dam. They have been settled in four different blocks and have been provided with basic facilities like education, electricity, hospital, road etc. The areas of resettlement have been well marked so as to ensure that in future they do not venture outside the designated settlement.

The state government should explore the possibilities of following the Kokila model of settlement for Chakma-Hajong refugees across the state, in particular in districts like Changlang, Lohit and Namsai where their population is growing at an alarming rate. Vast availability of fertile land and failure of district administrations to check the rampant encroachment of land has encouraged Chakmas to migrate to these districts to settle. It is believed that a large chunk of the population are recent settlers. The state government needs to identify all such populations. The original areas demarcated to the refugees should be identified. This will help the state government to get an exact figure of how much land has been encroached by the refugees. Efforts should be made to confine them to their designated place of settlement. They have to be provided with basic facilities like education, health, roads etc.