Kaptai-Bilaichhari road being constructed without compensation, 35 families affected

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Hill Voice, 26 September 2023, Rangamati: Construction of a 40-km link road from Karigorpara of Raikhali union under Kaptai upazila to Bilaichari is underway as part of Kaptai-Rajasthali-Bilaichari-Jurachari-Barkal (Thegamukh) link road in Rangamati district. As part of this, construction work is currently underway to Gachkabachara of Ward No. 3 under Kaptai Union bordering Bilaichari.

The link road is being constructed by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) of the government through a contractor.

According to locals, the construction of this 43-foot-wide link road will cause huge losses to at least 35 Jumma families, including various types of plantations, turmeric fields and UNICEF village centers of the local Jumma villagers. But they were not compensated.

When the elders and leaders of the area wanted to discuss this with contractor Kamal and the engineer, they clearly stated that no compensation will be given. Furthermore, they threatened, if the locals obstruct the work, they will bring the army and continue the work. The estimated loss of 35 families is to be around Tk. 1 crore.

It should be noted that the government has been implementing the blueprint for ethnic cleansing of the Jumma people by exploiting all possible means. As part of this, they are carrying out a conspiracy to evict Jumma people from traditional land, to endanger their livelihoods, to break the economic backbone, to destroy the biodiversity and natural environment of the area. Among these development activities include unilateral declaration of reserve forest, leasing of traditional Jum land and Mouza land of Jumma people to non-locals, establishment of luxury tourist spots, construction of border roads and connecting roads, establishment and expansion of security force camps, gas-oil exploration in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), etc.

Moreover, there are many connecting roads to connect with border roads. One of these connecting roads is Kaptai-Rajasthali-Bilaichari-Jurachari-Barkal-Thegamukh link road. A 130-km link road is being constructed from Rajasthali to Thegamukh to connect Chittagong Sea-Port with Thega Land Port under construction in Barkal upazila of Rangamati district.

The following is a list of the victims and estimated losses received from the villagers as a result of this connecting road:

1. Indra Jit Chakma, 34, s/o late Buddha Muni Chakma, village- Barudgola Mon Para, Kaptai Union, Ward No. 3, Upazila Kaptai, Rangamati. Damage: Banana orchards, turmeric and Jharu (tiger grass / broom) plantations estimated at Tk. 2,50,000.

2. Ranjit Chakma, 48, s/o late Buddha Muni Chakma, address-do. Damage: Banana plantation, paddy fields, turmeric and teak plantation estimated at Tk. 2,00,000.

3. Gunodia Chakma, 52, s/o late Buddha Muni Chakma, Address-do. Damage: plum (boroi) plantation, banana plantation, teak plantation estimated at Tk. 3,00,000.

4. Niro Lal Chakma, 47, s/o late Lakkhi Kumar Chakma, Address-do. Damage: Teak plantation and turmeric fields estimated at Tk. 1,00,000.

5. Anjana Chakma, 34, w/o Guloboch Chakma, address-do. Damage: Teak plantation Tk. 2,00,000.

6. Notun Chandra Chakma (70), s/o late Sidhyabo Chakma, address-do. Damage: Mango plantation, coconut plantation, bamboo plantation estimated at Tk. 2,50,000.

7. Doyal Chakma, 40, s/o late Buddha Muni Chakma, Address-do. Damage: Coconut tree, betel nut garden, litchi garden, mango orchard and one house are estimated to be Tk. 4,00,000.

8. Mangal Dhan Chakma (69), s/o late Prem Ranjan Chakma, Address-do. Damage: turmeric fields, banana orchards, mango orchards, tamarind orchards estimated to be Tk. 2,00,000.

9. Chui Cha Aung Marma, 55, address-do. Damage: Banana plantation, teak plantation and Jharu (tiger grass / broom) plantation estimated at Tk. 1,00,000.

10. Kanango Chakma, 64, address- do. Damage: Teak plantation, turmeric fields estimated at Tk. 1,50,000.

11. Samar Jit Chakma, 42, s/o Dayal Kumar Chakma, address- do. Damage: Banana plantation and 1 shop is estimated at Tk. 2,00,000.

12. Bono Kumar Chakma, 44, s/o late Rashik Mohan Chakma, address-do. Damage: Mango plantation, teak plantation, jackfruit plantation and house 1 are estimated to be TK. 3,50,000.

13. Indrajit Chakma, 31, s/o Dayal Kumar Chakma, address-do. Damage: Tamarind orchards, teak plantation and turmeric fields estimated at Tk. 2,50,000.

14. Chanchal Muni Chakma, 75, s/o late Kalikumar Chakma, address-do. Damage: plum (boroi), jackfruit plantation, litchi, mango, banana plantations estimated at Tk. 3,00,000.

15. Duleye Chakma, 43, s/o Chanchal Muni Chakma, address-do. Damage: Mango, jackfruit, teak plantation and 1 house, estimated at Tk. 3,50,000.

16. Sumon Chakma, 28, s/o Ashok Kumar Chakma, address-do. Damage: Banana plantation and 1 house are estimated at Tk. 2,50,000.

17. Ashok Kumar Chakma, 60, s/o Chanchal Muni Chakma, address-do. Damage: Teak plantation, banana plantation is estimated Tk. 1,50,000.

18. Pundikya Chakma, 30, s/o Rupantar Chakma, address-do. Damage- turmeric field is estimated to be Tk. 1,00,000.

19. Notun Muni Tanchangya, 35, s/o Rupa Muni Tanchangya, Village- Golok Dhan Para, Kaptai Union, Ward No. 3, Kaptai upazila, Damage: Mango, litchi, tamarind, teak plantations, banana plantation and turmeric field estimated Tk. 7,00,000.

20. Aloron Tanchangya (26), s/o Rupamuni Tanchangya, Address-do. Damage: Teak plantation, mango and banana plantations and turmeric fields are estimated Tk. 2,50000.

21. Tapan Tanchangya (30), s/o Rupa Muni Tanchangya, address-do. Damage: Teak plantation, banana plantation and turmeric fields estimated Tk. 2,50,000.

22. Morotto Chakma, 69, address-do. Damage: Teak plantation, banana plantation, turmeric field estimated Tk. 2,70,000.

23. Kandara Chakma, 45, father- Morotto Chakma; The damage is estimated at Rs 2,50,000 in teak plantation, mango plantation and copse are estimated at Tk. 250000.

24. Rupa Muni Tanchangya (58), s/o late Hirotya Tanchangya, address-do. Damage: Banana plantation, Jharu (tiger grass / broom) plantation, teak plantation approximately Tk. 2,00,000.

25. Jatileshwar Chakma, 36, s/o late Satishwar Chakma, address-do. Damage: Banana, teak, mango plantations, turmeric field estimated at Tk. 2,50,000.

26. Bass Dhwani Tanchangya (62), w/o Golokko Tanchangya, address do. Damage: Banana plantation, Jharu (tiger grass / broom) plantation and teak plantation estimated at Tk. 2,00,000.

27. Bolikko Chakma, 44, s/o Bhuban Chakma, address-do. Damage: Banana, teak, mango, tamarind, bamboo plantation, turmeric field estimated at Tk. 4,00,000.

28. Priyo Moy Chakma (48), s/o Bhuban Chakma, address- do. Damage: Teak plantation, Jharu (tiger grass / broom) plantation, banana orchard, gamar plantation estimated at Tk. 3,00,000.

29. Kandara Chakma, 45, s/o Mortwa Chakma, address-oi. Damage: Paddy land 0.40 cents estimated at Tk. 2,00,000.

30. Natun Bikas Tanchangya (29), s/o Golakka Tanchangya, address-do. Damage: Banana, broom, white teak (gamari) and teak plantation estimated at Tk. 2,00,000.

31. Amar Chakma, 34, s/o Shanti Moy Chakma, address- do. Damage: Banana, teak plantation, turmeric field estimated at Tk. 4,00,000.

32. Rono bikash Chakma, 35, s/o Doyal Chakma, address-do. Damage: Teak plantation, banana, Jharu (tiger grass / broom) plantation estimated at Tk. 2,00,000.

33. Kagazi Kumar Tanchangya (75), address-do. Damage: Lemon, litchi, cashew nut plantations estimated at Tk. 70,000.

34. Mintu Chakma, 26, s/o late Doyal Chakma, address-do. The damage to teak plantation, mango and banana plantations is estimated to be Tk. 2,00,000.

35. Buddhi Kumar Tanchangya, 34, s/o late Nuna Aung Tanchangya, address-do. Damage: Teak plantation, tiger grass plantation and banana plantation estimated at Tk. 50,000.

In June 2016, a report published by the LGED of the Government of Bangladesh mentioned that an estimated 611 acres of land would be required for the implementation of the Rajasthali-Bilaichari-Jurachari-Barkal-Thegamukh link road.

According to the survey, 114 acres of land will be acquired, 564 families will be affected, 241 plantations will be damaged, 157 families will lose business structures, 10 cultural infrastructures (3 mosques, 3 temples and 4 schools) will be damaged and 32 ponds will be damaged.