GUWAHATI, June 24 � MP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national vice-president Bijoya Chakravorty came down heavily on the Tarun Gogoi government for its double standards on environmental issues and for not adopting a clear-cut land policy.
Addressing media persons here on Friday, Chakravorty said that many green covers in and around the capital city have been transferred to the rich and the powerful either for business purpose or running educational institutions by the government that feels no qualms in inflicting barbaric atrocities on the poor indigenous people demanding land settlement.
�The capital city is the most sought after destination of those who have lost home and land to erosion and flood. Livelihood crisis in rural Assam is also another reason for the large scale migration to the city. But the government is helpless to tackle this issue of population explosion by setting up satellite townships because already government land has been transferred to the capitalist,� criticized Chakravorty pointing out that other States have started setting up satellite townships to ease the population explosion.
It needs to be mentioned here that officially the population of Guwahati stands at 12 lakh, but unofficially it is estimated that around 20 lakh people have been living in different nooks and corners of the city. Chakravorty said that out of this, five lakh were suspected to be dubious citizens.
Stressing that issues such as environment protection are very important, Chakravorty mentioned that the government has to be unambiguous in its stand on conservation of environment. �See around you. Highrises, educational institutions, and business enterprises have come up in wetlands and other green covers. Why is the government silent over this development? Is it sending the message that there is a different set of rule for the rich and the powerful and another rule for the indigenous poor?� Chakravorty asked.
Chakravorty also slammed the Congress government for giving assurances of patta to the indigenous people living for more than 15 years in the hills and other areas under the green cover.
�Around 86,000 hectares of Assam land has been seized by bordering States. But the Assam government has not managed to recover those areas as yet. Sattra land, reserve forest including Kaziranga National Park has been encroached by the Bangladeshis, but the government is blind to all these developments. The government is behaving in an arrogant manner and welfare of the indigenous people is far from its concern,� said Chakravorty.
Describing forced eviction of people as a barbaric act, Chakravorty demanded an indigenous people-friendly land policy.