GUWAHATI, July 4 � The committee on settlement of land for people residing for a long time in Kamrup (Metro) district and adjoining hill areas in its meeting here today decided on principle to suspend for the time being the drive to free the city�s government land from encroachment. However, in matters of hill land it has decided to follow the Government of India�s forest land policy.
Disclosing this, member of the committee, Dhiren Barua, who is a public representative in the committee, told this newspaper that the members of the committee, headed by former minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman, though refrained from arriving at a conclusion on any of the issues connected with the matter, were unanimous that each of the landless families should be allotted 1 katha and 10 lechas of land.
The possibility of reducing the mandatory occupation period from 15 years to 10 years for those who have been occupying the government land, was also discussed in the meeting. The members of the committee also discussed the need of slapping a condition for preventing sale of the allotted land by the allottees for a certain period.
They also agreed on the point that the people who are solely dependent on the hills, particularly the people belonging to the hills tribes, should not be subjected to eviction from the city hills.
It was also agreed that the Forest Department will raise a task force to prevent further encroachment on the city hills and such a task force would be stationed at the different city hills for the purpose.
However, the final decisions on the above issues would be adopted in the next meeting of the committee being held shortly, said Barua.
He also informed that the issues of keeping intact the natural water bodies of the city and distributing the ceiling surplus land of the city among the landless people also came up for discussion in the meeting.
The meeting, which was presided over by Dr Barman, was attended by ministers Prithivi Majhi, Rockybul Hussain and Akon Bora, MLAs Robin Bordoloi and Hemanta Talukdar, and public representatives Prof Nirmal Kumar Choudhury, Monoranjan Goswami, Principal Secretary Revenue VK Pipersenia and the Deputy Commissioners of Kamrup and Kamrup (Metro), besides Barua.