GUWAHATI, July 15 � Three leading academicians and a social worker have demanded a white paper on the ongoing eviction drive in the city and on the measures to free the city from flash flood, besides saving Guwahati from being a crime capital.
The academicians who include Prof Kunja Medhi, a former Gauhati University (GU) Head of the Department (HoD) of Political Science as well as a former Director of the Women�s Studies Research Centre (WSRC) of the University, Prof Anuradha Dutta, another former HoD of GU Political Science as well as a former Professor of the Peace and Conflict Studies of the OKD Institute of Social Change and Development, Prof Archana Sarma, a former HoD of GU Economics as well as a former Director of GU WSRC and former Head (in-charge) of the GU Department of Women�s Studies, and social worker Paresh Malakar, president of the city-based voluntary organisation Anwesha, also questioned as to how the encroachers, who are now subjected to eviction, could settle on the city water bodies.
In a statement here, the academicians and the social worker have also demanded a clarification from the authorities concerned as to whether there was any step taken to identify the officials responsible for settlement of such encroachers on the city water bodies, and whether any punitive measure has been initiated against those officials.
They called for an explanation from the authorities as to how some of the encroachers could obtain house numbers and other legal documents to legalise their possession of the plots of land belonging to the water bodies.
The signatories of the statement also wanted to know whether there is any alternative arrangement made for rehabilitating the evicted people, even if temporarily.
Besides, they wanted to know if any step has been taken to ensure safety of the women belonging to the evicted families, considering the fact that Guwahati has already been identified as an unsafe place for women.
They asked the authorities to state in a clear cut manner as to whether the State has a housing policy. In this respect they referred to the fact that housing is a basic need and a growing requirement in the context of expansion of Guwahati city.
Further, they called for an explanation from the authorities on the allegation that the ongoing eviction drive is discriminatory with many encroachers remaining untouched.