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Expand capital region without violating tribals' rights: CCTOA

The Coordination Committee of Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA), an umbrella organization of tribal bodies

CCTOA

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  17 July 2022 1:14 AM GMT

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: The Coordination Committee of Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA), an umbrella organization of tribal bodies, on Friday met Tribal Affairs Minister (Plains) Ranoj Pegu and urged him to ensure that certain tribal-inhabited areas are excluded from the plan to expand the State Capital Region till Jagiroad, Palashbari and Tamulpur.

The CCTOA said that the Assam State Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2017 should be amended to exclude 378 villages of the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council, along with 268 villages of the Tiwa Autonomous Council and the tribal belts and block areas, from the purview of the Act.

Further, the organization sought that those non-cadastral areas which are ancestral lands of the tribal and other indigenous people of the state should be surveyed and the residents should be given land pattas immediately.

The CCTOA also requested the Minister to arrange a meeting of the organization with the Chief Minister for discussion of these issues.

Talking to The Sentinel, chief coordinator of the CCTOA, Aditya Khakhlari said that they apprised Pegu of their apprehension that the Assam State Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2017 will dilute the rights of the tribal population living in the capital region expansion project area. Khakhlari said that Pegu assured them that there is no reason for the tribal and other indigenous population to feel concerned about the project. The Minister assured the CCTOA delegation that the capital region expansion project will not violate provisions of Chapter X of the Assam Land and Revenue (Regulation) Act, 1886 and the land rights of the tribal and other indigenous population will be protected.

Khakhlari said that Pegu further told them that if the need arises, certain areas would be declared as 'green land area' or 'no-industry zone' to safeguard the interests of the tribal and other indigenous population.

The CCTOA had earlier told the Minister that the decision of the state government to include 378 revenue villages of the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council, 268 villages of the Tiwa Autonomous Council and tribal belts and block areas, Tribal Sub-plan and Integrated Tribal Development Project areas under the purview of State Capital Region Development Authority will jeopardize the very concept of granting autonomy to tribals and protection of land rights to the tribals and other indigenous people under Chapter X of the Assam Land and Revenue (Regulation) Act, 1886.

Also Read: CCTOA opposes Assam government's decisions on tribal belt and blocks

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