85 families in Joypurhat face uncertainty over eviction drive
JOYPURHAT, Nov 11: A total of 85 families which have been living on the Chhota Jamuna riverbank in Uttar Joypur area of the district town for the last 35 years, are facing uncertainty due to the ensuing eviction drive.
To recover town protection dam from grabbing, Sadar Upazila administration served a notice to the families recently.
About 450 people under 85 landless families live here.
Joypurhat Municipality allocated a total of Tk 81,86,698 under Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement Project (UGIIP)-3 to improve the lives of slum people. This project is supposed to be implemented in four stages. In the meantime, the work of 400-metre RCC road and 10 toilets at Tk 20 lakh is on.
Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Assistant Commissioner (Land) Milton Chandra Roy served the eviction notice to the families on October 26 last asking them to leave the place within seven days.
The notice made the people anxious. They are searching for suitable living place.
Local sources said the slum which is situated 4km away from Joypurhat town, was established in 1985. To develop the lives of the slum people, UGIIP-3 is being implemented now. In first stage, Tk 20 lakh work has been completed, and more Tk 61,86,698 work will be conducted in next three stages.
The slum people demanded their rehabilitation elsewhere before the eviction drive.
A local old woman Shahnaz Begum said she has been living here for the last 35 years. All the residents of the slum are registered citizens of Ward No. 2 in Joypurhat Municipality. Her husband left her. She is now living here with her two grandchildren. She would fall into trouble if she loses her resident.
Another local Sumi Akhter said after five years of waiting, the municipality finally started working on the slum development. The development work of Tk 81 lakh has already started here. He questioned the effectiveness of the eviction drive at this time.
She also said the money of the municipality will be wasted as well as the slum people will be destroyed.
Slum Development Officer of the municipality Md Hasanuzzaman said they have been working on the development of the slum people for the last five years. A total of Tk 81,86,698 was allocated for this development project. The project will be stopped, if the eviction drive starts.
Joypurhat Municipality Panel Mayor Selimur Rahman Babul said they already informed the administration about the issue. Hopefully, the administration will consider the matter before starting the drive.
Executive Engineer of Bangladesh Water Development Board in Joypurhat Md Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury said the notice was served to renovate the riverbank area by demolishing all illegal establishments.
UNO and AC (Land) Milton Chandra Roy said the notice was served to the slum people following government rules and regulations. The rehabilitation of the helpless people is under consideration of the administration, he added.