Assam government admits to ‘large-scale’ encroachment

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Guwahati, March 2 (IANS) The Assam government on Thursday admitted to large-scale encroachment on water bodies, forest lands and tribal lands across the state and said the government was undertaking a survey to ascertain the total area under encroachment.

“There have been encroachments on forest lands, tribal lands and on water bodies. There is a 2011 Supreme Court guideline to ascertain the total land under encroachment and evict encroachers. The SC guideline is yet to be executed,” Assam Revenue Minister Pallab Lochan Das told the assembly.

“However, the new government has undertaken the survey to ascertain the total land under encroachment,” the Minister added while replying to a question by Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita in the assembly.

“After the completion of the survey, the state government will have the complete data about different kinds of land under encroachment in different places of the state,” Das said.

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The government would consider the appeal of genuine landless people and steps would be taken to rehabilitate them, he added.

Sending a strong warning to the encroachers, the Minister said the government will evict the encroachers from forest lands, tribal lands and water bodies.

The government is preparing an Integrated Land Management System also, an online system through which anyone can see the status of a particular land anytime from anywhere, Das said.

The remarks came after BJP legislator Siddhartha Bhattacharyya and AGP legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita on Thursday raised the issue of ongoing eviction drives by the state government in different areas of Guwahati.



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