GUWAHATI, July 25 - The State Government is committed to free sattra land from encroachment and the district administrations have been directed to take necessary action in this regard.
In the last five years, a total of 95 bigha, 15 lecha encroached land belonging to the Sattras have been freed, and another 133 bigha, 4 katha and 14 lecha encroached land is yet to be freed.
Stating this at the Assembly today, while answering a question by legislator Bhabesh Kalita, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Pallab Lochan Das said that in some cases, the process of eviction had been hindered due to pending court cases.
The State has a total of 412 Sattras (Vaishnavite monasteries). Encroachment on sattra land has been a perennial problem.
�The Sattras represent the State�s culture and heritage, and we are duty-bound to protect and preserve the same. The deputy commissioners of the districts have been instructed to evict encroachers from sattra land,� Das said.
AIUDF legislator Aminul Islam, while underscoring the heritage value of the sattras, said that large-scale encroachment on sattra land could take place due to the complacency of the district administration officials as they chose to turn a blind eye to the disturbing developments. He added that there should be a probe to fix responsibility for the lapse and punish erring officials.
Congress legislator Abdul Khalek said that along with encroachment, erosion by rivers had been a major problem for many Sattras and that a few such as Moinbori Sattra had to be shifted to other places due to erosion. He also appealed to his fellow legislators to be serious on the issue of protection of Sattras from encroachment and erosion.