GUWAHATI, Feb 6 - The Opposition today made a strong pitch for rehabilitation of landless families who have been evicted from Government land during the ongoing eviction drive across the State even as the Government made it clear that it did not have any policy/scheme for rehabilitation of evicted people.
The ongoing eviction drive against encroachment on Government land across the State has resulted in the displacement of 3,559 families during the past six months. The maximum number of evicted families have been in Dhubri (832 families), followed by Mangaldai (754 families), Biswanath (655 families), Nagaon (360 families), Sivasagar (280 families) and Barpeta (182 families).
Revealing this in the Assembly today while answering a question from legislator Nandita Das (Congress), Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management Pallab Lochan Das said that the eviction drive was being conducted as per existing law and a Supreme Court directive, and accused the previous Congress Government of remaining silent to widespread encroachment on Government land.
Das, however, added in the face of mounting attack from the Opposition that the Government had provisions for settling landless people but for that they needed to apply through their respective deputy commissioners.
�The Government has provisions for settling genuine landless people, but not encroachers. We will also do a survey on this,� he said.
To another written question from Congress legislator Bedabrata Saikia, Das revealed that as per information from DCs of 13 districts, the total number of landless families in the State was 31,198 � the rural and urban break-up being 22,859 and 8,339 respectively.
To another related question from BJP legislator Ashok Singhal, the minister said that Assam had a total land area of 49,72,539 bigha-1 katha-3.5 lecha under encroachment across 23 districts.
Not satisfied with the Minister�s reply, the Opposition members, including Nandita Das, Debabrata Saikia, and Sherman Ali Ahmed (Congress) attacked the Government for not adopting a humanitarian approach while evicting encroachers who had been compelled by circumstances to occupy Government land.