Illegal encroachers given land rights, claims local club
IMPHAL | Oct 8
In connection with recent eviction notice and show cause notice served to land encroachers in Chingkhei Ching reserved forest area by forest department, Eastern Sporting Association (ESA), Top Awang Leikai has drawn attention of the government to also take action against revenue department officials, who are responsible for providing the land rights to the illegal encroachers.
A press release issued by ESA said, in the recent past, there have been many illegal constructions and encroachments by private individuals including bureaucrats and forceful settlement in the Chingkhei Ching reserved forest area.
“Likewise, Nongmaiching reserved forest area is being encroached by private individuals through illegal constructions. ESA in association with forest department has been taking up stringent measures to protect the environment and maintain the natural ecosystem through formation of Joint Forest Management Committee,” it stated.
The release recounted that in August this year, forest department directed revenue department to cancel land record of 18 individuals for encroaching in the reserved forest area. Subsequently, show cause notice was served to 29 individuals for the illegal encroachments in Chingkhei Ching reserved forest area in September, it said and added that the encroachers were notified of eviction on October 3.
It further informed that Chingkhei Ching reserved forest area covering 14 sq km and Nongmaiching reserved forest area covering 67 sq km were declared central reserved forest area in 1980. Pillars erected at that time in the boundaries of revenue land and forest land is still standing. However, the private individuals started building illegal constructions including farms, schools, etc. within the boundary of the reserved forests, it said.
While alleging that revenue department conspired with the private individuals and provided the land records and dag chitha to the illegal encroachers, the release said that there are no issues with ESA in the proposed eviction.
It also sought support and cooperation from the public in such steps taken up by the forest department for protecting the forests and conserving the environment.
It went on to point out that a cabinet decision is required even when constructions in public interest or government constructions are to be taken up in reserved forest area. For constructions covering larger areas, approval of North Eastern Council and central government is required, it said.
In spite of all this, the land record of 22 acre was provided to Mega Manipur School and there have been disputes with the locals now and then, said the release and drew government attention to take up legal action against such constructions in the name of public interest.
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