AIZAWL, June 10 - Landowners of the Kaladan multi-modal transit transport project in southern Mizoram have threatened to block the ongoing works on the project demanding compensation for their lands acquired for the project.
A meeting of Lawngtlai District Land Owners Association held at Lawngtlai in southern Mizoram has set a deadline for the State PWD to clear their compensation.
A statement of the Association stated that if their claims for compensation are not fulfilled immediately they would ask the contractors, RDS Project Ltd and ARSS, to discontinue works.
However, PWD officials said that land acquisition for the project had already been carried out with the concerned district collector and all the authentic claims were cleared.
The compensation row had arisen when fresh claims cropped up after all the claims which had been proven to be authentic had been cleared.
According to PWD officials, there were over 700 fresh claims for land compensation, in addition to the 166 claims which had already been paid. About Rs 6.88 crore had been paid to 166 landowners. According to an official, the problems arose as the degraded jhum lands were reported as forest land to the Ministry of Forest & Environment.
The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTT), for which India and Myanmar signed an agreement in 2008, also includes dredging and modernising Sittwe port, and dredging sections of Kaladan river for access to large ships.
The project will connect Kolkata seaport with Sittwe port in Myanmar by sea; it will then link Sittwe to Mizoram via river and road transport. This project would reduce distance from Kolkata to Sittwe by approximately 1328 kilometres saving a lot of money, time and energy and also providing Northeast India a route to import and export goods out of northeast India.
The project would make Mizoram and the entire Northeast India a trade corridor to Southeast Asian countries.
To get maximum benefits from the project, the State Government also envisions a railway line up to Lawngtlai and more airports in southern Mizoram.