GUWAHATI, Sept 28 - The State government today said that the Assam State Capital Region Development Authority Act would not pose any threat to the identity and culture or land rights of the indigenous communities, including the Rabhas and the Tiwas.
Replying to a call attention motion in the Legislative Assembly, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that the autonomy and power of the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council (RHAC) and the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) would not be infringed upon by the Act.
�Any apprehensions to the contrary are unfounded... The Act only seeks to bring development to the areas in the vicinity of Guwahati while preserving the culture and tradition of the indigenous people and prior consent of the autonomous councils is mandatory to undertaking any new activity. There is no threat to the status of the councils,� he said.
The minister added, �We want to assure that without consent of both councils the government will not take any decisions. The tribal belts and blocks will be developed while preserving the culture and tradition of the local people. No land will be taken. In fact, now the councils will get more funds.�
Patowary said that the State Capital Region (SCR) has been set up on the model of the National Capital Region (NCR) in Delhi to bring faster and all-round development to places located near Guwahati.
Earlier, raising the issue, BJP MLA Dipak Kumar Rabha cited media reports about protests launched by some agitationists in the RHAC areas against the Act.
He called upon the State government to keep the RHAC areas outside the purview of the Act, saying that the legislation would harm the interest of the locals.
AGP MLA Ramendra Narayan Kalita and Congress legislator Rekibuddin Ahmed also supported Rabha�s contention and called upon the government to address the apprehensions.
BJP MLA Rama Kanta Dewri demanded that both the RHAC and TAC areas be kept out of the ambit of the Act.
Tribal bodies to stage mass dharna: Meanwhile the joint meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations, Assam and the Ethnic Tribal Literary Organisations of the State here today decided to stage a mass dharna at the Dispur Last Gate on October 1 in protest against the alleged design of the government to destroy the Rabha and Tiwa autonomous councils and the tribal belts and blocks through the Assam State Capital Region Development Authority Act, 2017.
A press release said the meeting also demanded steps to cover all tribal-dominated areas of the State under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.