GUWAHATI, March 2 - Asserting that the State Government would free forestland, wetland and other government land from illegal occupation, Revenue and Disaster management Minister Pallab Lochan Das today told the Assembly that the government was also working on a database to distinguish the genuine landless people.
He added that shocking anomalies were there in the land allotment process and that the matter was being thoroughly probed. He added that the inquiry would unravel a sinister nexus that had been settling illegally on forestland, wetland and other government land and then manipulating land records to legitimise their illegal act.
Replying to a question by AGP legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita, the minister said that the government wanted to make the process of land settlement and land allotment transparent and streamlined.
�The government is committed to evicting encroachers from forestland, wetland and other government land. There is also a Supreme Court guideline to that effect. However, we are for a progressive land policy so that the genuine landless are identified and rehabilitated through an appropriate process. We are preparing a database on land settlement including encroached land, covering all aspects of illegal occupation. Land that can be allotted to people will be given as per law. But even the landless cannot simply sit on government land; they have to seek allotment through a formal procedure,� he added.
Das said that all land-related matters would be computerised and made available online. Besides, various related services would be delivered online once the integrated land management system is put in place.
On the issue of eviction on Guwahati�s hills, the minister said that the government would first prepare a database on the existing encroachment to distinguish the genuine land patta-holders and then go about clearing the illegal occupation. �The Deputy Commissioner will sit with the four local MLAs for charting out the course of action vis-�-vis eviction,� he said.
BJP legislator Atul Bora alleged that a section of corrupt forest and revenue officials was working overtime to show forestland belonging to the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary as revenue land and facilitating land-grabbing.
�Land of the Amchang sanctuary has already been encroached and given legitimacy by this nefarious nexus. The government needs to take serious note of the development and act quickly. Large tracts of the Silsako wetland in the city have also been illegally converted into residential area in connivance with the real estate lobby,� he said.
Earlier, Ramendra Narayan Kalita, while raising the matter during Zero Hour, said that the people living on the city�s hills for 50 to 60 years were spending sleepless nights due to the government�s move to evict encroachers from hills.
�Despite living for so long, these people have not been granted settlement rights; rather they are now haunted by the spectre of eviction. This is not warranted,� he said.
BJP legislator Siddhartha Bhattacharya also called for processing land patta applications before going ahead with the eviction drive on the hills.