GUWAHATI, Sept 4 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said rights of the tribal people falling within the Assam State Capital Region Authority (ASCRA) jurisdiction would be fully protected. Sonowal also directed the Guwahati Development Department (GDD) to take necessary steps to address the apprehensions raised by the leadership of the autonomous councils regarding preservation of distinct identity of the tribal people and maintaining their rights over land.
The Chief Minister, while chairing the first meeting of the ASCRA at his office conference hall at the Janata Bhawan here today, said the Capital Region Authority was created with a vision to make Guwahati the hub of Southeast Asian countries.
Keeping in view the apprehensions raised by the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council and Tiwa Autonomous Council CEMs, Sonowal agreed on the need for more clarity on certain provisions of the ASCRA Act concerning land rights of the tribal people. He asked the GDD to effect suitable amendments to address their concerns.
He also suggested the council leadership to put forth the kind of modifications required in consultation with local organisations and people so that the same can be suitably incorporated in the Act.
Moreover, Sonowal directed the GDD to carry out a study to collect relevant data regarding land ownership, economic activity, etc. for taking a holistic approach for preparing plans for the areas within the Capital Region Authority as first step towards making the Authority operational.
Earlier, GDD Secretary SS Meenakshi Sundaram, while giving a broad overview of the ASCRA, informed that 24 revenue circles of five districts, namely Kamrup (Metro), Kamrup, Nalbari, Darrang and Morigaon, comprised the Authority with an area of 6,137 sq km.