85,446 ha of Assam land encroached

GUWAHATI, Nov 10 – Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Mizoram are encroaching on a combined area of 85,446.42 hectares of Assam, the break-up being Nagaland – 66,151 hectares, Arunachal Pradesh – 11,519.76 hectares, Meghalaya – 5,789.66 hectares and Mizoram – 1,986 hectares.

Bangladesh is also encroaching on 684.93 hectares of Assam’s land. Border Areas Minister Gautam Roy said this in the Assembly today while answering an unstarred question from Drupad Borgohain of CPI.

The minister also revealed that of the 5,927 hectares area in the Geleki reserve forest, around 4,000 hectares had been encroached on by Nagaland. The encroachment has been taking place since 1952.

On the steps taken by the State Government to regain the lost land from Bangladesh, Roy said that the Ministry of External Affairs, BSM Division, Government of India, had constituted a ‘Joint Boundary Working Group’ to resolve the Indo-Bangla boundary dispute.

Replying to another unstarred question on border encroachment by AGP legislator JP Das, Revenue Minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman said that the State Government was aware of different activities like construction of offices, roads, churches, schools, police outposts, godowns, industrial units including brick kilns, residences, shops and other government and non-government establishments, etc., on Assam’s land by the Nagaland Government. Dr Barman said that while eviction drives were being occasionally carried out, the Supreme Court had constituted local commissions to look into the border disputes with Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

On the Assam-Meghalaya border row, talks were on at the Chief Secretarial level. On border disputes with Mizoram and Tripura, the Assam Government was in touch with the Survey of India besides talks were on at official levels with both the States.