More than a month after the central government signed a quadripartite agreement to resolve 22-year-old Bru displacement crisis in Tripura and permanently settle them in Tripura, District Magistrates of all eight districts of the state have identified 18 locations for their resettlement.
The resettlement would be done with a package of Rs. 600 crores, which is announced by the centre.
32,000 Bru migrants from Mizoram are currently living in six designated relief camps at North Tripura, 180 km from Agartala. They fled Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of Mizoram following ethnic clashes in 1997.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ratan Lal Nath today told reporters that district magistrates of all eight districts of Tripura have identified 18 locations for their permanent resettlement. The government would now verify viability of these lands and decide how to implement the resettlement plan, he added.
“We can settle only 300 families at a location. We shall set up Ekalavya Schools for their children. Besides, these people will also need some land for agricultural purposes. If we settle more people together, it might get too congested,” Nath said.
According to the four-corner resettlement agreement, each resettled family would be given 0.03 acre (1.5 ganda) land for building their houses, Rs. 1.5 lakh as housing assistance, Rs. 4 lakh as one-time cash benefit for sustenance, Rs. 5,000 monthly allowance and free ration for two years from the date of resettlement.
All cash assistance would be provided through Direct beneficiary Transfer (DBT), the state government would expedite opening bank accounts, issue biometric Aadhaar cards, permanent residence certificates, ST certificates, EPIC cards and include their names in the electoral rolls of the state.
The government would, however, follow a plan of settling only 300 migrant families at a particular location.
The decision to rehabilitate not more than 300 families at a location has met severe repercussion among the Bru leaders. “They (government) promised us we would be resettled in clusters in Tripura at the time of agreement. Clusters normally mean 500 families. We have accepted all conditions of resettlement. But if the plan is to resettle 300 families at a place, we feel it will be violation of the agreement. We shall raise this issue at the meeting of Joint Monitoring Group for resettlement,” Mizoram Bru Displaced Peoples Forum (MBDPF) secretary Bruno Msha told this publication.
The migrant leaders have been complaining about incomplete identification surveys held by Mizoram authorities in the camps so far. So, in order to keep things clean, the state government has started a new survey which is also mandated by the resettlement agreement.
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