‘We shouldn’t forget that Guwahati is the capital of the state. Such encroachments have made public life a veritable hell in the city that is badly lashed every year by artificial floods and traffic jam. Encroaching government lands, that too, wet lands is illegal, and as a public activist I support the eviction drive’ — Deven Dutta
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, February 1: The local people of Tokobari on AT Road today took out a procession with a Hunuman idol in protest against the dismantling of a Shiva Temple by the administration during its eviction drive in Borsola Beel on January 31. When the police reached the spot to disperse the gathering so as to clear the traffic jam, some of the protesters started pelting stones at the police personnel who resorted to lathi–charge. Around ten people had minor injuries.
The local people said that they had nothing to do with the eviction drive as the structures being demolished there were on government land. They, however, questioned the ratiole behind the demolition of the temple which, they claimed, was on a patta land.
Meanwhile, the Shiva Mandir Santha claimed that their’s was a patta land for which they paid Rs 49,018 as tax from 2004–2014, and that MLA Robin Bordoloi had iugurated it four years back. The records of the 1500 sq. ft land, they claimed, are daag No. 768 and patta No. 181. They also said that they were not issued any notice before the demolition of the temple.
Meanwhile, Circle Officer Lakshmindan Saharia said: “No notice is required to conduct any eviction drive against encroachers of government land. According to Section 4 of the Guwahati Water Bodies Prevention (Conservation) Act, 2008 no person can encroach any wet land. According to Section 6 of the Act, if anybody prevents the eviction of such encroachers they would be punished in accordance with the law.”
Meanwhile, talking to The Sentinel over telephone, public activist Deven Dutta supported the eviction drive and condemned the protest procession. The activist said: “We shouldn’t forget that Guwahati is the capital of the state. Such encroachments have made public life a veritable hell in the city that is badly lashed every year by artificial floods and traffic jam. Encroaching government lands, that too, wet lands is illegal, and as a public activist I support the eviction drive.”
On the problems of the Atgaon area in the city, the activist said that the people, mostly businessmen, in the area were using the roads as their private garage almost 24 hours, not allowing others to park their vehicles. “The area is a hellhole in the city,” he said.