By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 26: Around 7,002 bighas of government land is under encroachment by tea gardens in the State.
Government records say the encroachment is across seven districts, with Cachar topping the list with 3,946 bighas.
In Dibrugarh, 1,014 bighas of government land is under illegal occupation of tea estates which include Durgapur TE, Diksam TE, Tiloijan TE and Belbari TE.
Khowang TE, Sri Krish TE, Mankhowa TE and other gardens have usurped around 650 bighas of government land in Tinsukia district.
Despite repeated notices from the administration, the garden magements have not cleared the tracts.
Instead, sources said, the garden magements want the government to hand over these tracts to them. But it is learnt that there has been no formal proposal moved in this regard by the magements.
"In their reports, most of the deputy commissioners have said no such proposal has been received from the garden magements seeking to acquire these encroached lands," official sources said.
Assam government has now and then been writing to the district administrations to take possession of the encroached tracts.
"Whenever the government writes to the deputy commissioners, notices are slapped on some garden magements. But the action stops there. No further step is taken," sources said.
The district administrations, however, say "steps are being taken" to clear the encroachments. In some cases, the administrations say, the process is getting delayed due to pending court cases.
The issue had been raised many times in the State Assembly. And every time, the government says necessary action is being taken.
Legal action can be taken against the erring garden magements under the Assam Land Revenue Act, 1886.