Dispute over status of evicted area in Batahghuli
GUWAHATI: The Forest Department has informed the Gauhati High Court through its counsel that a survey by the Survey of India has been already completed in the Eusuf Nagar/Batahghuli area, which was the scene of eviction drives in 2017. The counsel consequently requested that four weeks' time be given to convey to the court further instructions of the Government as the process in underway for reconciliation of the boundary which was marked earlier by the Forest Department.
This submission was made during hearing of a PIL and a linked Writ Petition pertaining to the eviction drives in the Eusuf Nagar/Batahghuli area. The petitioners claim that they were residing in a revenue village at the time of the 2017 eviction drives. On the other hand, the State Forest Department avers that the evicted people are encroaching upon the proposed eco-sensitive zone of the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary.
During the latest hearing, via a separate order the court also allowed another seven party-respondents to be impleaded in the matter.
It may be mentioned that during earlier hearing of the matter in June last year, the High Court had ordered that disconnected electricity connections should be temporarily restored to households in the area. The court had, however, made it clear that: "In case the members of the petitioner Samittee are found to be illegal encroachers, they cannot claim any benefit on the ground of their electricity connections being restored by the order of this Court."