A massive eviction drive was carried out in Assam’s Sonitpur district on Saturday morning to clear 330 acres of land.
As many as 50 excavators, heavy machinery and a large number of workers were deployed for the drive to demolish houses in No. 3 Chitalmari area in Barchalla on the northern bank of Brahmaputra river.
The process was peaceful with almost all the illegal residents having already left the place with their belongings after receiving the eviction notice.
"The eviction drive has been incident-free so far. There has been no law and order situation," an officer, who is among those overseeing the exercise, said.
According to reports, the drive began at 5 am in the morning and as most residents had already vacated their houses, the structures are being demolished with the help of excavators and other heavy machinery.
Around 1,200 security personnel, including those of Assam Police and para-military forces, have been deployed at the site, equipped with anti-riot gear.
As per government records, 299 families were living in the area, but more than 90% of them have already left after receiving the notice around eight months back.
Meanwhile, some of the evicted residents lamented that no rehabilitation has been provided to them by the government.
We have been living here for decades. We have no jobs and live off the fields here. We don't know where we will go," a woman said.
A district administration official said that patrolling in the area by security forces was on since August 31, and that prompted the people to vacate the land voluntarily.
"We could not carry out the eviction drive earlier due to various reasons. Now, most of the people have agreed that this is government land and it will be used for developmental work," the official told PTI.
On Thursday, Special Director General of Police (law and order) Gyanendra Pratap Singh had also visited the site and reviewed the security arrangements.
He said that the land is being cleared as the government is planning to set up a solar power plant at the site.