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Demand to allot stone mahals of Deoduar Gopeswar RF to locals

By Correspondent

BAIHATA CHARIALI, July 11 - The public of Deoduar, Madanpur, Piyalikhata, Alipub and Baihata Chariali area have urged the Forest Department to allot the stone mahals at Deoduar Gopeswar Reserve Forest under North Kamrup Division of Forests to the local people.

The public concerned with the business said that since a long time back, the Forest Department had allotted stone mahals at Deoduar Gopeswar Reserve Forest and that was the only main source of livelihood of the local people and more than 1,000 families were dependent on that job. In the year 2005-2006, as the expansion work of National Highway 31 was started, the Forest Department had cancelled the permits of local contractors and allotted the mahal No. 1, 2 and 3 to the National Highway constructing companies. However, the local public had continued the extraction of stones from the area and supplied the boulders to different government projects of the Water Resource Department, PWD and also different stone crusher units of the area giving royalty through challans to the Forest department.

Thereafter, though the department had given permit issuing challans of Agyathuri mahal to the local contractors, but practically due to some local problems they could not extract stones from the Agyathuri mahal. In this connection, the local contractors and the public involved with this held a meeting on March 2, 2015 in the presence of then ADC, Kamrup BK Bora, SDPO, Rangiya, K Gogoi, Circle Officer of Kamalpur BK Das, ACF of NK Division of Forests AS Arif, FRO of Sila Range G Mahanta, CI of Police, Baihata Chariali PN Sut, OC of Baihata Chariali, M Talukdar and the public along with other and they demanded the Forest department to allot mahal number-1 which was allotted to the NH constructing company and now abandoned by them to locals and other stone mahals in the patta land at Deoduar and Mandakata.

It is to be mentioned here that following the allotment of the stone mahals the public of the area had observed agitational programmes and after request of the ADC and his assurance to verify the above-mentioned demands and facts by the department, the public had called off the agitational programmes. So the department now has processed to allot mahals here the contractors of the area have demanded of the department to allot the mahals to the locals in the interest of the livelihood of the people here.

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