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Citizens’ body, CO differ on encroachment

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 19: Who is lying – the Brihattar Chatribari Unyan Samiti (BCUS) or the Guwahati Circle Office? Such a question arises as while the former claims that a number of high-rises have been erected by people on Sorusola and Borsola beels in the city, the latter maintains that barring the six-bigha land of KC Das Commerce College and a Shiva Mandir under construction there, all the buildings erected on the wetlands are on myadi patta land.

Talking to The Sentinel, BCUS president Hemen Lahakar said: “Sorusola and Borsola beels are the two major wetlands in Guwahati that could hold and calize the waters of the city to the Brahmaputra during the monsoon. “However, those days are passé. With rampant encroachment into these two wetlands in the city, the flow of rainwater has been badly obstructed for the past 25 years. The situation has come to such a pass now that a spell of smart rain for half-an-hour causes water-logging in the city, paralysing normal life in the city. KC Das Commerce College was first located in the campus of Soram HS School. However, the college was shifted to Sorusola Beel after the implementation of the Wetland Conservation Act, 2008. Various buildings of the college were erected in the beel blocking the free flow of rainwater. This is not all. A number of high-rises being owned by some big mes have been erected on encroached land in the wetland, adding woes to the mece. We demand of the administration to clear the wetland from encroachment so as to solve the problem of artificial floods in the city forever. There are also a large number of encroachers in the Borsola Beel. The administration did carry out an eviction drive in the wetland last year near Meghdoot Cinema. However, the area that was made free from encroachers last year is now teeming with encroachers.”

So as to ascertain to the veracity of the facts, this reporter moved Guwahati Revenue Circle Officer Lakkhi ndan Sahariya, who, no uncertain terms, rubbished the allegations. He said: “It’s only KC Das Commerce College that has encroached over six bighas of land in Sorusola Beel. This apart, a Shiva Mandir is being erected on lands of the wetlands. Barring these two, no one has encroached upon any land in the wetland. All the buildings seen there are on myadi patta land.”                    

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Ankur Kalita