ANINI, 7 Sep: Some residents of Alinye village here in Dibang Valley district have said that they would not give up their land for the proposed construction of an advanced landing ground (ALG) in the district “without fair compensation.”
They pointed out that Chief Minister Pema Khandu in his Independence Day speech had stated that the land would be donated free of cost, and that directive has been issued to the district administration to acquire the land for free.
“This,” they said, “has not only disgruntled the villagers and landowners but has hurt the sentiments of the people whose ancestral land would be snatched away without paying a penny. The relevant acts of the country envisage fair treatment of the SC/ST people and their rights over the land and properties and encourages better compensation to the marginalized communities,” they said.
Placing their grievance before the deputy commissioner, the villagers claimed that a team from the district administration had
visited the “land-affected people” and tried to convince the would-be affected landowners not to claim land compensation, and had assured them that civil works would be awarded to them in the future once the ALG’s construction starts.
“This has not only shocked the landowners but we feel cheated and misled. Even if the landowners are given civil work in the future for donating the land, how will poor landowners who are surviving to make ends meet execute the work without any money? This is a ridiculous proposal just to deceive innocent people. This manipulative attitude is not at all in the interest of the people,” they said.
They said that it is an individual’s choice whether to donate their land and it cannot be enforced on anyone. “When a fair compensation is being claimed by the land-affected people, it is the duty of the administration to look into the matter and not the other way around,” they said.
They also cited the examples of the Hollongi airport near the capital region and the upcoming airport in Lohit district, where landowners were and are being compensated for their land.
The villagers said that they “totally oppose any correspondence that has taken place for the aforesaid project” and demanded that there should be no gazette notification in the matter till the issue is redressed, or they would have “no other choice but to approach the court for proper adjudication of the matter.”
In November last year, a 16-member inter-ministerial team and representatives from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Alliance Air had inspected the proposed ALG site at Alinye village.
The villagers informed that the ALG has been there for decades but had been lying defunct, and said the government is now making attempts to revive it.