PASIGHAT, 8 May: The Kotga Gorah Community Conservation Reserve Society (KGCCRS) of Mebo in East Siang district denied that there was any irregularity in the implementation of the Wildlife Trust India (WTI)-sponsored project in lower Mebo area.
Reacting to the news headlined ‘Mer village not to cede…’, etc, which was published in this daily on 4 May, the society’s chairman, Gumin Tayeng in a statement said that “some people of Mer village, who opposed the project, are not stakeholders, nor their land included in proposed project sites.”
Official documents reveal that many villagers, including local gaon burahs, village secretaries and public leaders of Namsing, Mer and Paglam villages near Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary have given consent to use their community land for the elephant corridor project with legal formalities.
Eminent villagers, namely Raju Doley, Jiten Pangging, Lohit Doley, Ajanta Ratan, Gupi Noro, Akan Regon and Nangkong Pangging of Mer village, besides villagers of Namsing and Paglam, have submitted a written consent (in the form of a deed of agreement and court affidavit) to the KGCCRS chairman, giving clearance for 1,500 hectares of community/private land for execution of the project.
“It is clear that there will be no question of forceful grabbing someone’s land for the elephant corridor project by the implementing agency,” the chairman stated.
He further revealed that about 48 villagers of Mer, including the GBs, the village secretary and public leaders, assembled in a meeting on 24 April and took the decision to support the elephant corridor project. The meeting, chaired by GB Binod Perme, further resolved that no local villager should move against the project without consulting the village authority.
KGCCRS chairman Tayeng, who is also the ZPM of Lower Mebo (Monggu Banggo), affirmed that the village communities of Namsing, Mer and Paglam have willingly donated community land and the implementing agency is not facing problems in implementing the project.
“A few people, who have no concern with the project, are making adverse comments without knowing project details and the benefit of the eco-friendly project.
“The report of allegation and controversy against the project is totally false, baseless and created to fulfill vested interest,” the chairman clarified.