Guwahati: The massive eviction drive to clear the water routes and wetlands in the state capital continued for the third consecutive on Wednesday as 88 houses were demolished at different places.
During the exercise, which started from Monday after the worst ever flood in the city last week, the Kamrup Metro district administration has so far demolished 270 houses and cleared 37 bighas of government land, besides freeing 1.6 km distance of banks of the Bharalu river from encroachers.
"We are continuing the eviction drive and it will go on in coming days as well till we clear all government lands from encroachers. This will help in recovering the water routes and wetlands," a senior district administration official told PTI.
The eviction drive today was carried out in Silsako lake and on the banks of Bharalu river, a tributary of Brahmaputra flowing through the city, the official said.
"We cleared 88 houses today. Of these, 55 were in Silsako, while the rest were on the Bharalu banks," he said.
Regarding the displaced people during the eviction drive, the authorities have already ruled out giving any relief or temporary accommodation to them saying that it would not be done as they were encroachers on government land.
However, some occupiers claimed they have been living on these places for a period as long as up to 25 years.
"I am staying here for at least 25 years. I have got a valid electricity connection and paying all government taxes. How can I be an encroacher?" asked Manas Bora, whose shop- cum-residence in Serab Bhati area on Bharalu bank was brought down today.
Kamrup Metro Additional Deputy Commissioner Bharat
Bhushan Choudhury is leading the eviction drive in association with Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
A large number of police personnel are also present at all the places to prevent any resistance and untoward incidents.
After Silsako and Bharalu banks, the authority will start eviction of illegal occupiers on the banks of Basistha river and on the hills surrounding the city.
Meanwhile, the authorities have identified 366 places on 19 hills surrounding the city as landslide-prone and have asked the people living there to shift to safer locations till the monsoon season gets over.
During the flood and landslide last week in Guwahati, 11 persons died. Heavy rains affected many areas, including Anil Nagar, Tarun Nagar, Dispur, Rajgarh, Zoo Road, G S Road, GNB Road and Bhagagarh.