GUWAHATI, July 7 � The All Assam Matak Sanmilan has demanded urgent steps to free the historical monuments like tanks and structures, including the ramparts and roads, dug and built during the reign of King Sarbananda Singha towards the end of 18th century AD, from encroachment and possession of those who have been occupying them with the strength of forged settlement documents.
The Sanmilan will wait for one month, with effect from today, for such steps on the part of the administration. In case of failure to act forthwith, it will be compelled to take recourse to vigorous agitational activities, said Sanmilan general secretary Kajal Gohain, while talking to this correspondent here today.
Gohain said the Sanmilan has been raising the above demand for the past 70 years, but to no avail. The about 225-year-old monuments of Tinsukia town are the most known ones of Sarbananda Singha�s reign.
It needs mention here that Tinsukia, which derived its name from the typical triangular tank called Tinsukia Pukhuri, is located in the heart of the town. The original name of Tinsukia is Bengmora.
Sarbananda Singha, who introduced octagonal silver coins to mark his time, also introduced money in his kingdom, shifted his capital from Rongagara to Bengmora in 1791 AD and constructed a township near the present-day Chenairam HS School. The total area of the township was 69 bigha, one katha and four lecha. He constructed roads and ramparts to connect Bengmora with the outside areas and also to protect it from attacks. He also got 18 tanks dug, said Gohain, referring to the historical records.
Gohain informed that the Sanmilan, which was established in 1939, has been pleading with the successive State and Central governments since 1947, for steps to free these monuments from encroachment.
The tanks of the period of Sarbananda Singha include the Chauldhowa Pukhuri, Devi Pukhuri, Kebahi Pukhuri, Godha Baruah Pukhuri, among others. Of the ramparts constructed during the reign of King Sarbananda Singha, the Godha Garh is the most well-known. Among the roads of his time, the Raja Ali is the most well-known, Gohain said, adding that this road starts from the Na-Pukhuri and joins the Rangagarah Road crossing NH-37.
While the above rampart was damaged by some tea estates in certain areas, the roads are also in a dilapidated state and portions of them are under encroachment or possession of fake patta holders, said Gohain.
The encroachers have also changed the names of some of these tanks and roads, Gohain added.