'Situation demands survey and land pattas to tribal people'
GUWAHATI: All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS) secretary-general Aditya Khakhlari said that over four lakh bighas of land in tribal belts and blocks in the state were under encroachment. He doubts that some people of suspected nationalities are among the encroachers.
Talking to The Sentinel on Tuesday, Khakhlari said, "We have assessed the lands in tribal belts and blocks in the state. We have found that about four lakh bighas have gone under encroachment in tribal belts/blocks.
"The government has not yet surveyed the lands in tribal belts and blocks. The government does not have the exact estimation of tribal lands under encroachment. Sonapur and South Kamrup near Dispur have tribal belts/blocks. Despite being near the state capital, the government has not surveyed tribal lands in these two areas. We doubt some people of suspected nationalities are among the encroachers.
"The situation demands a special drive for the survey of lands in tribal belts and blocks to provide land pattas to tribal people and people belonging to protected classes. The majority of the tribal people in the state do not have land pattas as the government has not surveyed their lands."
The state has 48 tribal belts and blocks, including a recently created one. The government declared two tribal belts/blocks first in 1947 in Bongaigaon and Kokrajhar districts. Under the Assam Land Revenue Regulations, 1886, the State government notifies a tribal belt/block when the tribal population in the area exceeds 50 per cent.