| The Mukesh Hyundai showroom near Ganeshguri being razed on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati/Jorhat, July 9: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said there would be no discrimination in the ongoing eviction drive in Guwahati.
“We will go by the law. What will happen as per law will happen,” Gogoi said in response to questions from the media on whether the government would target the multi-storied and other buildings owned by corporate groups.
The eviction drive launched in Guwahati to check floods completed its tenth day today. The Kamrup (metro) administration carried out the drive at Rukmini Nagar, Zoo Road, Bormotoria, Silsako Beel and along the Basistha, Bahini and Mora Bharalu rivers. It demolished 46 pucca and kutcha houses, 21 temples, one mosque, a naamghar of Mising community, 35 boundary walls and cleared around 14 bighas.
The administration had yesterday demolished a Shiva temple. It also pulled down part of a Hyundai showroom along GS Road, which encroached upon the Bahini rivulet, to allay fears of discrimination.
The eviction drive, the most sustained and planned the state has seen so far, aims to clear natural drains such as the Bahini and the Bharalu, which carry 80 per cent of the city’s water. Gogoi’s no-discrimination line assumes significance as most of those affected — and their sympathisers — have been accusing the government of targeting only the poor in the eviction drive.
The drive was ordered by the chief minister in the wake of the death and destruction caused by flash floods in the city on June 26 and 27. Nine people died, resulting in widespread condemnation of the Gogoi government for not having done enough despite being in power for 13 years since 2001.
Sources said members of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) went to Silsako Beel today to stop the eviction drive. But a possible clash was avoided, as the drive did not reach the areas where KMSS supporters stood guard. The KMSS had initially supported the eviction drive but changed its stand later. Now it is demanding stopping of the eviction drive. The BJP organised a procession from the city’s Latasil area to Raj Bhavan, demanding rehabilitation of the evicted families.
In Jorhat, the district administration carried out an eviction drive for the second day to clear encroachments along the Bhogdoi and several streams passing through Jorhat town and its adjoining areas. The drive passed off smoothly today without any opposition. As many as 25 structures were demolished, clearing a 1.7km long area.
The boundary wall of a private nursing home, Arunadoy Hospital and Research Centre, was among the illegal structures demolished along the Tocklai stream at Masarhat, but there was no opposition to the demolition. A few illegal structures in the nearby areas along the stream were also removed.
They were mostly boundary walls, toilets, storehouses, tea stalls (all non-permanent in nature), trees, bamboo bushes and a few houses where people do not reside.
Gogoi also visited the SOS Children’s Villages at Azara on the outskirts of Guwahati. He said the three children of Chandra Devi, who died recently when the eviction drive was on along the Bharalu river, would live there.