Encroachers stall proposed AYUSH Medical College

[Amar Sangno]

ITANAGAR, Nov 9: The proposed site for AYUSH Medical College, Tezu is reported to be encroached massively, derailing the process of its very establishment.
The report has surfaced after a group of local people comprising of Panchayati Raj members, Gaon burahs and youths of Tezu lodged a complaint with Deputy Commissioner on Monday demanding immediate eviction of the encroachers.
In a signature petition, more than three hundreds local residents gave their consent and expressed concern over the rampant encroachment at proposed AYUSH Medical College site. The proposed site measureing 150 acres was allotted to the Directorate of Health Service for construction of the medical college on 8th November 2016.
Expressing grave concern over fate of medical college, the local residents implored the deputy commissioner to expedite the eviction process so that construction of proposed college could be started at earliest.
It is reported that encroachers have not allowed the authority to carry out formalities including site mapping and layouts for infrastructural development of the proposed medical college. Among the encroachers are few influential leaders.
“The objection and opposition of medical college by the illegal encroachers is not justified” the complaint letter read.
“The indigenous interest of entire Mishmi community of Lohit and Anjaw district cannot be outweighed by ulterior motive or interest of illegal encroachers”, it added demanding immediate eviction the encroachers from the proposed site.
The letter further claimed that proposed site was cultivation land of Loiliang village from 1965 to 1975. However, due to intervention from district administration and the state government, some portion of the Loiliang village was brought under Tezu Reserve Forest in 1976-77. In December 2001, it was re-notified as Tezu township extension area.
The local residents claimed that encroachers started allowing sizeable number of non-APST to settle temporarily at the site from 2010. But by 2014, structures built by locals had come up.
One of settler identified as Soban Chakwa spoke to The Arunachal Times and claimed that he has been staying at the site since 1990.
However, he admitted that he does not possess any legitimate document to proclaim himself as the rightful owner of the land.
Somari Krong accused the authority of forcibly pushing the project without paying heed to grievances of the settlers.
“The authority should not push the project without consulting the settlers as it would create law and order problem if they go ahead with arbitrary eviction drive” he said. However, when asked by this daily whether he is a legal occupant, he did not respond.
“I have been in the area since 1994. If this area is government land, where was Forest department and district administration when we were settling in? Why did not they stop us from settling here”, questioned Sohan Romat, another settler while holding the authority responsible for the crisis. We are not against development but our concern is that development should not be at cost of people’s right, he added.
This daily could not reach the Deputy Commissioner but it is learnt that district administration have issued eviction notices to the settlers.