Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mizoram: Builum village's IDPs deprived of basic facilities to force them to vacate homes

(Submerged future? :A house in the middle of water from the hydel project at Builum village. Courtesy: http://www.lawrkhawm.com)

By - Paritosh Chakma


In yet another case of neglect of the rights of the displaced persons, the Mizoram government has allegedly stopped all facilities to the Mizo tribal residents of Builum village under Kolasib district to force them to move out of the village. The Builum village is facing submergence due to a dam constructed over Serlui river to produce electricity.

24 families of Builum village refused to vacate their homes alleging that they have not been provided adequate compensation after their agricultural lands, houses and farms/ gardens have been submerged by the dam water of the 12-MW Serlui B hydel project. About 80 families from Builum village have accepted resettlement package offered by the state government of Mizoram and they have been resettled at Bawktlang village under Kolasib.

The state government has rejected the accusation that adequate compensation has eluded the victims. Instead, the state government has taken punitive measures to force the villagers to vacate their homes. According to social activist Ruatfela Nu who has visited the village, the villagers have not been getting basic facilities such as ration supply, school, water facilities, healthcare and electricity for the last one year. (Newslink, Aizawl, 12 June 2009) Clearly, the state government is totally insensitive to the problems of the affected villagers.

The state government has reportedly closed down the school at Builum village which constitutes deprivation of fundamental right to basic education to over 35 children of the families who continued to stay in the village.

Since most of the agricultural lands of the villagers have been submerged, the villages do not have any income sources to survive. But the state government has made their lives more miserable by stopping supply of ration under the Public Distribution System, drinking water supply and electricity to the remaining villagers of Builum village. The residents of Builum village have not been getting these facilities since for the last one year.

The residents of Builum village are in urgent need of basic amenities like food, water, medicines, school education, electricity supply and jobs.

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