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Illegal land settlement in past 10 years: Bora

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Oct 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 23: Whose darlings are big businessmen or industrialists in Assam – of the Congress or of the BJP? Dispur MLA Atul Bora has raised the question as to how big businessmen or industrialists could be given land settlement in the Dimoria, Amchong Wildlife Sanctuary and Chandrapur areas where the indigenous tribal people living for generations could not be given land settlement for the lands being categorized as ‘non-cadastral’.

Dispur MLA Atul Bora has brought to light some facts on giving land pattas in forest lands, hills and other government lands in the Dimoria area from Khapara to Sopur, forest lands belonging to Amchong Wildlife Sanctuary and lands in the Chandrapur area, all falling under Dispur Assembly Constituency. The MLA has specifically brought it to light before Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal that all that illegal land settlement given to big businessmen and industrialists took in the past ten years. It is needless to say that the Congress was in power in the State for the past 15 years, at a stretch.

The MLA, through a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister last evening, said: “It is surprised that while the local people have been deprived of Miyadi Patta with the reason that no survey has taken place for the last 51 years and the land has been categorized as ‘non-cadastral’. While we have been uble to give settlement of even one bigha of land to poor deserving sons of the soil, how can the rich people and big businessmen get patta of thousands of bighas of forest, hill and other government land?”

Talking to The Sentinel, the MLA said: “How come such an injustice can be meted out to the local indigenous populace? There must be an unholy understanding between Forest and Revenue department officials in giving land settlement to big businessmen and industrialists. I met the Chief Minister with a memorandum last evening, and made everything clear. I want an inquiry into the issue and punishment to the erring forest and revenue officials.”

In his memorandum to the Chief Minister, the MLA said that ‘the Amchong Wildlife Sanctuary has been systematically destroyed with direct collusion between forest and revenue officials. More than half of the land belonging to the Sanctuary has been settled in favour of big businessmen and industrialists in collusion with government officials. The big businessmen have now started cutting hills for erecting boundary walls/fencings, felling trees, driving away wildlife...The eco-sensitive ture of the whole area is under threat.’

The MLA raised his eyebrows as to how land settlement could be given in forest land for which ‘the land has to be certified as non-forest land by the Forest Department’. “People rightly suspect that there is a deep collusion between the forest officials and the revenue department in giving miyadi patta to big traders in forest land, hilly areas and other government lands...Large amount of money must have changed hands in these matters,” he said.

“The Chief Minister was surprised to have known all these malpractices. In front of me, he telephoned to the authorities concerned to let him get the complete picture of the situation of land settlement in the Dimoria, Chandrapur and Amchong Wildlife Sanctuary,” Bora said, and added: “I’ll continue my tirade against all illegalities in my constituency. I want my constituency to develop on all fronts.”

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