By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 7: The Indigenous Tribal Sahitya Sabhas, Assam (ITSS) has termed the move on the part of the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) to expand GMDA area from the present 238 square km to 3,471 square km by including, besides Kamrup (M), Kamrup, lbari, Darrang and a part of Morigaon as yet another conspiracy on the part of the State government to spell doom for the future of the indigenous tribes in the State.
Addressing the press in the city today, ITSS leader and BSS general secretary Kamalakanta Mushahary said: "This is another attempt and policy to elimite the indigenous tribals from the proposed metropolitan region as was first done by the then Congress Government in the State led by Sarat Chandra Sinha by establishing the State capital at Dispur. In the process, the status of tribal belt to Beltola was withdrawn. Many indigenous tribal families were forcibly evicted, and they had to lose their agricultural lands as a result of that. This is the second such attempt on the part of Dispur to smash the existence of indigenous tribals in the State."
With a view to expanding the area of the GMDA, its authority issued a notification on October 8, 2015 stating that besides Kamrup (M), Kamrup, lbari, Darrang and a part of Morigaon will come under its jurisdiction. The notification stated that the new area of GMDA jurisdiction will be 3,471 sq km against the present 328 sq km, including as many as 1,061 villages.
The ITSS said: "We have gone through the list of villages and the map enclosed along with the notification and seen that most of the villages come under tribal belts and blocks and other tribal-populated areas. These tribal people will be badly affected. We are ready to intensify our agitation if any tribal family is affected in the process. We demand modification of the GMDA extension master plan so as to exclude the tribal villages from it."
Meanwhile, an ITSS team led by Deuri Sahitya Sabha president Lila Kanta Deuri submitted memoranda to the State Governor, the Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary, the Additiol Chief Secretary, and the GMDA CEO demanding exclusion of tribal villages from the GMDA extension master plan.
Our Dimoria Correspondent adds: Organizations in Dimoria - Karbi Students' Union (KSU), All Boro Students' Union (ABSU), Tiwa Students' Union (TSU), Dimoria Zila Jajati Sangha (DZJS), Karbi Arls Asem and six Amri Karbi organizations - held a citizens' meeting at Dimoria Tribal Sangha office today. The meet was presided over by Sangha president Bishnu Rahang. The meeting decided that they would not let the extension of GMDA into the Dimoria area.
Senior citizen Ajit Dutta said: "If this happens, the rights of the local people of Dimoria will be badly affected, and protection of tribal lands in the area will face a challenge."
Amri Karbi Students' Union president Hareswar Rahang appealed to the people and organizations in the Dimoria area to be united. "On November 14, a garik Aikya Mancha will be constituted taking all into confidence," he said.