Silchar May 15: At a time when the Cachar district administration and Police are keeping a close vigil on the ongoing drive to clear the tea bushes at Doloo Tea Estate in Cachar district for setting up of the proposed Greenfield airport in Silchar, Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy has claimed that interest of the workers of Doloo TE is paramount for the Government.
Dr Roy on Saturday said that the Government has ensured that it will look into the matter and no labourer will be affected in the process of land acquisition for the construction of the Greenfield airport at Doloo TE. "There is no eviction done at the Doloo TE. No houses of the labourers are being evicted. All labourers are employed and will remain employed in the garden. The Government has augmented the land acquisition process for a major infrastructure project much needed for Barak Valley," said Roy.
Interestingly, Dr Roy blatantly disproved that he had said anything to label the labourers of the Doloo TE as "Maoists" and said "since there has been the arrest of Kanchan Da from a tea garden area in Barak Valley, it is for the police and investigative journalistic practice to find out if any such links exists in the tea belts. Only 2,500 bighas of land are being taken for the Greenfield airport and the location was selected after it met the specific standards required for the construction of an airport. There are about 1,200 permanent and 500 casual workers in Doloo TE. As many as 170 workers have already received their due payments. All pending payments will soon be cleared as well. Around Rs 2. 37 crore has been transferred to the workers. We can never brand the tea labourers as Maoists. The management of Doloo TE has given its consent to the district administration regarding this. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by all the stakeholders. It is unfortunate to see that people with vested interests and a section of media are desperately trying to misinterpret the entire progressive effort."
He informed that with additional earthmovers pressed into action, the clearing of tea bushes is expected to be completed within the next 5-7 days and then the State Government will hand over the land to the Airport Authority of India and subsequently tenders will be floated. The demarcated land area will be fenced with guardwall as well which will start following the protocol, the MP maintained.