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PAC yet to place report

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GUWAHATI, June 4 - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Assembly did not place its report on the much discussed �Performance Audit on Kaziranga National Park� prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in 2014, as, the meeting it (PAC) initiated on July 8, 2015 with the Forest and Environment Department to discuss the CAG report remained incomplete.

This came to light in a reply furnished by the Assam Legislative Assembly Secretariat on the issue to an RTI application filed by RTI-cum-Environment activist Rohit Choudhury. The reply was dispatched on May 24, 2016.

Choudhury in his application filed on April 23 last, had requested for the supply of the minutes of the above meeting (July 8, 2015). He also requested information on any questioner issued by the PAC to the departments concerned of the State Government with reference to the said CAG report (�Performance Audit of Kaziranga National Park - Issues and Challenges: Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Government of Assam, Report No. 3 of 2014�). The CAG report was placed before the State Assembly on March 31, 2015.

Choudhury further requested supply of the copies of such questioner along with the copies of the replies of the departments concerned to the questioner, in case the questioner was issued.

The CAG made observations like � �During interaction with the Presidents of Eco-Development Committee (EDC) of villages adjacent to these settlements, it was learnt that there has been a huge population growth in the past few years. They have also stated that there is a constant inflow of fresh migrants in that area. In view of the statement of the representatives of EDCs, Audit had obtained the census data for the years 2001 and 2011 from the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Assam. Analysis revealed that the population of Deosur chang and Deopani had increased by 121 per cent and 73 per cent respectively between 2001 and 2011. The growth is abnormal when compared to the growth figures of Nagaon district (39 per cent) and that as the entire State of Assam (32 per cent).� {Page No.54 (12.2.1)}.

It further said, �Audit had carried out physical verification of the area which revealed that at present the entire area including the Government land (both handed over and yet to be handed over) is under encroachment, either by construction of houses or by way of cultivation. Thus, due to inaction by the park authorities to protect the territorial integrity of the land already taken over in 2005, failure of civil administration to process the acquisition of the remaining stretch of 408 Bighas land owned by permanent pattadars coupled with the prevailing confusion in both the departments regarding the handing over - taking over, majority of these three additional areas had been encroached by illegal settlers.� {Page No.59 (12.5.6)}

Again, it said, �It was also stated that as per that latest report submitted by the Circle officer in September 2014, all the Government land in the periphery of the KNP falling under the Kaliabor Circle stand encroached.� {Page No.61 (12.5.12)}

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PAC yet to place report

GUWAHATI, June 4 - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Assembly did not place its report on the much discussed �Performance Audit on Kaziranga National Park� prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in 2014, as, the meeting it (PAC) initiated on July 8, 2015 with the Forest and Environment Department to discuss the CAG report remained incomplete.

This came to light in a reply furnished by the Assam Legislative Assembly Secretariat on the issue to an RTI application filed by RTI-cum-Environment activist Rohit Choudhury. The reply was dispatched on May 24, 2016.

Choudhury in his application filed on April 23 last, had requested for the supply of the minutes of the above meeting (July 8, 2015). He also requested information on any questioner issued by the PAC to the departments concerned of the State Government with reference to the said CAG report (�Performance Audit of Kaziranga National Park - Issues and Challenges: Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Government of Assam, Report No. 3 of 2014�). The CAG report was placed before the State Assembly on March 31, 2015.

Choudhury further requested supply of the copies of such questioner along with the copies of the replies of the departments concerned to the questioner, in case the questioner was issued.

The CAG made observations like � �During interaction with the Presidents of Eco-Development Committee (EDC) of villages adjacent to these settlements, it was learnt that there has been a huge population growth in the past few years. They have also stated that there is a constant inflow of fresh migrants in that area. In view of the statement of the representatives of EDCs, Audit had obtained the census data for the years 2001 and 2011 from the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Assam. Analysis revealed that the population of Deosur chang and Deopani had increased by 121 per cent and 73 per cent respectively between 2001 and 2011. The growth is abnormal when compared to the growth figures of Nagaon district (39 per cent) and that as the entire State of Assam (32 per cent).� {Page No.54 (12.2.1)}.

It further said, �Audit had carried out physical verification of the area which revealed that at present the entire area including the Government land (both handed over and yet to be handed over) is under encroachment, either by construction of houses or by way of cultivation. Thus, due to inaction by the park authorities to protect the territorial integrity of the land already taken over in 2005, failure of civil administration to process the acquisition of the remaining stretch of 408 Bighas land owned by permanent pattadars coupled with the prevailing confusion in both the departments regarding the handing over - taking over, majority of these three additional areas had been encroached by illegal settlers.� {Page No.59 (12.5.6)}

Again, it said, �It was also stated that as per that latest report submitted by the Circle officer in September 2014, all the Government land in the periphery of the KNP falling under the Kaliabor Circle stand encroached.� {Page No.61 (12.5.12)}

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