Assam govt sets 2-month deadline for railways

Land compensation to Dima Hasao villagers

GUWAHATI: The Assam government has set a two-month deadline for the railway authority to clear the pending amount payable as land compensation to affected villagers in Dima Hasao district.


This was decided in a joint meeting of the state government, railway, NC Hills Autonomous Council, district administration and NC Hills Indigenous Students Forum was held at the conference hall of the Assam chief secretary, T.Y. Das here on Wednesday.


More than 500 families in the hills district were affected during broad gauge conversion work by NF Railway. The railway had released Rs 1.78crore as zerrat value in March 2017. However, an amount of Rs 4.48crore was pending for several years now.


“The state government has decided that if the railway does not pay the necessary compensation within two months it will take legal action,” David Keivom, the president of the NC Hills Indigenous Students Forum, told The Shillong Times on Thursday.


The forum has over the past five years been demanding the pending compensation to the affected villagers for land restoration.


“The railway authority admitted during the course of the meeting that the damages to lands of the villagers caused by the work were genuine and therefore were ready to pay all the necessary compensation,” Keivom said.


The chief secretary asked the railway authority to pay the compensation for land development/restoration in accordance with the procedure adopted to pay the zerrat value.


“The railway authorities were told they could not pay a part of the payment but clear the entire amount as the damages were genuine. They were categorically told to find a way to settle the issue as promised n two months,” Keivom said.


The students’ forum however threatened to re-launch its rail blockade if the railways fail to settle the matter within the time frame given by the state government.




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