HAFLONG, April 29 - At least 350 families of Dima Hasao from Jatinga to Dittakchera residing in several villages by the side of the newly-constructed broadgauge (BG) line are crying for compensation due to loss and damage of land and dwelling houses following construction of the BG line under reference.
It is learnt that these villagers along with representatives of NC Hills Indigenous Students� Forum (NCHISF) had approached the Railway authority for grant of compensation quite sometime back. Though the Railway authority initially promised to pay compensation, it subsequently held meetings with representatives of NCHISF in the presence of officials of Dima Hasao district administration some time ago at Guwahati and at Haflong.
However, the villagers grievances were yet to be resolved, for which the NCHISF along with the Railway-affected families had called a rail blockade from April 19, which was finally withdrawn following an invitation from the Chief Secretary to hold a meeting on May 2 in Guwahati where the Railway authority too would be present.
In view of repeated promises and dishonouring of the same by the Railway authority, the affected families of Dima Hasao held a prolonged discussion on Thursday at Muolhoi and decided that if the Railway authority reneges on its word this time too, then they would be compelled to undertake a prolonged democratic agitation, including rail blockade from June 1.
The president of NCHISF said that the Chief Secretary has invited them on May 2 to hold a meeting with the Railway authority and added that NFR has assured to pay the compensation. He also said that all the concerned villagers had suffered major damage of land and property, including desecration of more than 100-year-old houses.
He was therefore hopeful that this time the Railways would consider their legitimate demand, otherwise they would be compelled to go for a long-drawn democratic protest.