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'Forest Department on la-la-land!'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 Dec 2017 12:00 AM GMT

'Dispur doesn't know what category of land evicted Amchang revenue villages have'


GUWAHATI, Dec 3: State Forest Department on la-la-land? It, according to Amchang Aboyaranya Datikashariya Khilangia Bhumi Suraksha Samiti (AADKBSS), does not have any answer as to what category of land dismantled revenue villages adjacent to Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary have.

Talking to newsmen AADKBSS president Jayanta Fangsu said: “Many lands of the State have been revenue land since Colonial rule. The villages that were evicted recently near Amchang have been revenue villages since British period. While the forest area was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2004, the local villagers had been living there much before that. Even now, the villages have been tagged as revenue villages and the land as revenue land. Land documents back this. How come the administration evicts the villagers?”

Fangsu draws an alogy to compare things from the right perspective so as to make the viewpoint of the Forest Department crystal clear. “Star Cement Factory is almost equidistant from Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary and Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary – barely a km apart from each of the two reserve forests. How come cement industries, notorious for pollution, are allowed to be set up so close to the sanctuaries? Why didn't Dispur feel like moving the high court to stay the eviction drive when the poor local people were being evicted by the demolition squad? What made Dispur get the eviction drive stayed when it came the turn of commercial institutions? The reasons aren’t far to seek,” Fangsu said, and added: “The demolished majar has miadi patta. When the patta was displayed before the demolition squad, forest range officer Binod Payeng was on record saying 'I know not the court, nor do I know anybody else. I’ve to execute the order issued by the State Forest Minister'. We did move the high court seeking stay of the eviction drive. The court then asked the Kamrup(M) Deputy Commissioner to submit a fresh memorandum within ten days on November 2, 2017. However, the Deputy Commissioner didn’t submit the memorandum. The evicted revenue villages like bajyoti gar and Yusuf gar are in eco-sensitive zone where people can live. The rear side of rangi College is a forest land. How come the administration allows erection of an 18-floor skyscraper there?”

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