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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Congress Extends Support to Slum Dwellers Fighting against Proposed Eviction by Railway

Malda, October 11, 2012: Protest of the slum dwellers at Telipukur area under English Bazaar against eviction got further support from the Congress and now it seems that the railway authorities would have to face a strong challenge in evicting those families for construction of road.

It may be mentioned that 53 families of Telipukur area were served eviction notice by railway authority as a road would be constructed along that area.Divisional railway manager (DRM) of Malda division Rabindra Gupta informed that fund had already been sanctioned for road and the work would have to be completed by this year, else the fund had to be refunded.

But CPI-M started movement favouring those families under former English Bazaar MLA Samar Roy, ex- Old Malda MLA Shubhendu Choudhury and two English Bazaar Municipality (EBM) councilors Sutapa Ghosh and Subhadip Sanyal.

CPI-M leaders met the DRM and said that railway authorities must ensure proper rehabilitation before evicting those families.

But former EBM chairman and Congress leader Narendranath Tiwary today said, “I know the railway authorities would never arrange rehabilitation for those families as they are considered as encroachers. Hence, those families should not leave their present position.”

“If CPI-M leaders think that the railway would provide those families with alternative land, it would be their mistake also,” Tiwary said.

However, CPI-M leader Roy said, “Our stand is clear. If no rehabilitation is offered by railway, there is no question of leaving the existing area.” “We clearly told the DRM that so many families cannot be made roofless without an alternative arrangement,” he said.

He reasserted, “Like Trinamul Congress we don’t want to hinder development. If the proposed road the railway authorities want to construct serve purpose for large number of people, we would indeed welcome but definitely not at the cost of the bleak future of so many people.”

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