Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has hit out at the state government for its "dictatorial attitude" and for rendering people homeless at a time when the world is faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This comes in the backdrop of Bilaspur district administration's anti-encroachment drive on the banks of the river Arpa.
"Chhattisgarh is probably the first state in India which is taking action to render the inhabited people homeless. In the whole country, the hungry are being given food and the homeless are being rehabilitated," Mr Singh said at a press conference on Monday.
"But the state government seems to be working without an action plan. First, the residents should have been shifted to the alternate accommodation then the action should have been taken to remove the encroachments. While the country and the state are facing the COVID-19 crisis, the dictatorial approach of the government is being seen in Bilaspur," he added.
The district administration on Monday brought to the site adjoining the Arpa River about half a dozen JCBs, tractor and the anti-encroachment squad. The water and electricity connections of the houses were snapped and the process of removing the encroachment was initiated.
Congress President Ashok Aggarwal praised Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Chief Secretary RP Mandal's dream project on the drive in Tilak Nagar of Bilaspur. He said that the earlier government had done vote bank politics on this matter but the current government intends to undertake the beautification of Bilaspur to make it a world-class city.
Devendra Patel, Sub Divisional Magistrate said that 145 families, who were given notice a week ago, will be rehabilitated.
"Around 145 families who were illegally staying were given notice 7 days back. These families will be rehabilitated," Mr Patel said.