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Dispur seeks report from DCs

Xatra, government land encroachment

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, June 17: The BJP-led government has sought a report from all deputy commissioners on encroachment of government land, xatra land and tribal belts and blocks in their districts.

Sources said the Revenue department has asked the DCs to submit a report detailing the total government land, total xatra land and total tribal belt and blocks in their districts and the encroachment in these tracts.

“The DCs have been asked to submit the reports at the earliest,” the sources said.

The BJP, during the election campaign, had promised to free all the Vaishvite mosteries, government land and tribal belts and blocks of encroachers if voted to power.

The North East Policy Institute had in 2011 carried out a survey of 910 State xatras. The study had found that around 5,548 bighas of the land in 26 xatras are under encroachment. The study team comprised of members of the Asom Xatra Mahasabha, Gauhati University and tiol Museum.  The study had even noted that most of the encroachers are suspected to be illegal migrants.

The then Congress government in the State had, however, contested the study findings.

According to the previous government, only around 80 bighas of land in seven xatras – two in Jorhat, three in Sonitpur and one each in Dhubri and Morigaon – are under encroachment. According to the previous State government, the highest encroachment is in Patekibari Xatra of Morigaon (37 bighas), followed by Sonitpur’s Aoniati Xatra (16 bigha) and Dakhinpat Xatra of Jorhat (15 bighas).

The Gauhati High Court had directed the State government several times to vacate xatra land from usurpers.

On the other hand, according to the previous Congress government, the total government land in the State is 1,71,86,897 bighas, of which as much as 39,90,156 bighas – or 23.2 percent – are under encroachment.

BPF MLA Kamal Singh rzary had raised the issue of encroachment of tribal belts and blocks in the State assembly last year. But the then government could not give a complete picture of the ground situation.

About the author

Ankur Kalita