GUWAHATI, Sept 29 - The State government is yet to execute the order passed by the Gauhati High Court in October 9, 2015, which directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Golaghat to take expeditious steps for �removal of encroachments� from the second, third and fifth additions of the Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
The High Court had said in its order that the people settling on patta and government land of the above additions should be evicted. There are 735 families residing on government land, while there are 266 pattadars living on their own plots of land within the areas covered by the above three additions.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) told RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury, in reply to an RTI query on September 4, 2018, that an amount of Rs 3,35,98,100 has been released in March this year to pay compensation to the occupants of the land in the second addition of the national park in this connection. But it is learnt that the State government has not initiated any move so far to pay compensation to the genuine pattadars of this addition of the national park.
Concerns were expressed by the Deputy Commissioner of Golaghat in the latter half of 2017 about the smooth implementation of the High Court order and suggested that to ensure peaceful eviction, the eligible people who are occupying plots of land within the second addition of the National Park should be paid compensation for their land in advance.
The Golaghat DC, in his August 14, 2017 letter to the Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam (Revenue Settlement), stated, inter alia, that as the size of the eviction will be a large-scale one and as some organisations (like the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samittee and the All Assam Tea Tribes Students� Union, among others) have been opposing eviction without compensation, the district administration is anticipating more resistance from the people which may result in a major law-and-order problem in the district. Further, security of the tourists visiting Kaziranga National Park is also required to be ensured before carrying out the eviction drives.
Therefore, the DC said, ��we feel that the eviction will be easier and peaceful if the compensation could be paid to the affected families�.
Following this, the September 7, 2017 letter of the Director, KNP, addressed to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of the Forest Force, Assam, stated that as per the High Court order, the Golaghat DC has to take expeditious steps to evict the people residing in 2nd, 3rd and 5th addition areas. But, the KNP Director said, eviction was not carried out till then by the Golaghat DC.
It is now alleged that the State government is maintaining a mysterious silence over the entire issue of releasing the NTCA funds to the authorities concerned for the purpose of paying compensation to those likely to be affected by the eviction drives in the second addition areas. There are 64 pattadars living in this addition, while 681 families are encroaching upon government land in this addition.