Landowners on Thursday said that they are not against the development of IT hub but cannot vacate their land for the project and urged the concerned authorities to shift the project elsewhere.
The landowners reiterated their stand during a public hearing on social impact assessment for acquisition of land for development of information technology hub (IT hub) in the area besides IT SEZ, Imphal East, at Mantripukhri Friend’s Colony on Thursday.
The public hearing was organised by the State Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Unit, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Manipur, for residents of Mantripukhri, Chingmeirong Nongpok and Meitei Kairang.
During the hearing, affected pattadars appealed to shift the project. They said that they welcome the development project and they are not against the IT hub development, but they cannot vacate their land.
Joint director of the directorate of Environment and Climate Change, T Brajakumar, who is the scheme officer of the SIA unit, said that the public hearing is to hear the public’s opinion and that it is not a conclusion.
The public hearing report will be submitted to another expert team and to the higher level after which the consent of the people will be taken and that it will be the final decision, he added.
“The state government cannot snatch the land by force, it is an acquisition and not an eviction and that is why the public hearing is being conducted,” said Brajakumar.
The statement and opinion of the pattadars and the report on the possible impact to the environment and social impact will be recommended to the government by the assessment unit, he added.
He informed that the SIA has conducted public hearings to ensure a humane, participative, informed and transparent process for the land acquisition.
It may be mentioned that the state government planned to acquire a land measuring around 100 acres in parts of Kontha Ahallup, Mantripukhri, Chingmeirong Nongpok and Meitei Keirang for the construction of the IT Hub.
As per the land schedule specified by the authority, 410 pattadars from four villages within Imphal East are affected by the acquisition of land for the project.
It is also reported that the total number of affected pattadar are 519, out of which the SIA survey was able to trace 423 pattadars.
Technical Expert, O'Brien; academician E Bijoy; survey expert, Md Abdul Salam and social activist BB Sharma attended the public hearing as the presidium members.