Villagers of Mongbung, Muozawl and Sejang villages in Jiribam district have condemned the alleged "arbitrary transfer" of land by the state government to the Power department in favour of MANIREDA without the consent of the land owners of the villages.
"The Mongbung villagers reiterate our objection to arbitrary transfer of land to Power department without the consent of villagers of Mongbung, Muozawl and Sejang villages. The arbitrary transfer of land ownership without consulting the land owners is a clear violation of the law," stated a release issued by the chief of Mongbung village.
The chiefs of Mongbung and Muozawl villages donated 600 acres of land in favour of the Agriculture department for Manipur Plantation Crops Corporation Ltd (MPCCL) under an agreement on January 2, 1981 solely to establish tea plantation, the release stated.
The said land was neither on sale nor acquired under the Land Acquisition Act with compensations but a clear donation to improve job and livelihood of the villagers, the release stated.
However, as the Tea Estate has become dysfunctional since 2004 due to mismanagement on the part of the government, the concerned villagers were expecting either alternative arrangement for their land or the return of their original land, which is a major asset for their livelihood, it stated.
Instead of retuning the land to the original owners, the state government transferred the land area from Agriculture department to the Revenue department on July 7, 2014 and later to Textiles, Commerce and Industries department, and finally to the MANIREDA on June 23, 2021, the release mentioned.
Urging the state government to stop any project on the land of the village without the consent and agreement of the villagers, it asserted that any arbitrary and forceful transfer of land by the government without consulting the land owners will be opposed and never be tolerated by the villagers.