Guwahati, April 25: Dispur today formed a three-member committee headed by senior legislator and adviser to chief minister on agriculture, Bhumidhar Barman, to frame a comprehensive new land policy for the state.
The move follows protests by KMSS against increasing instances of agricultural land being “handed over” to business groups for use in non-agricultural purposes. Citing a government reply in the state Assembly last year, KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi yesterday said a total of 28,961 bighas of agricultural land were transferred for non-agricultural purposes in 14 districts between 2001 and 2011.
An official statement today said the committee, constituted following instruction from chief minister Tarun Gogoi, would submit its recommendations to the government on land use and sustainable land management, land resources conservation and development, identify agricultural and non-agricultural land, resettlement of land, preservation of waterbodies and hills, encroachment, among others. The committee has been asked to submit its recommendations within four weeks.
Akhil yesterday said Brahmaputra Property Services Private Limited, an associate company of Brahmaputra Group headed by businessman Suresh Kumar Prithani, had procured 150 bighas of agricultural land at Mirza in Kamrup district and was illegally constructing a private township.
Kamrup deputy commissioner S.K. Roy today told The Telegraph, “I have asked Palasbari circle officer Subhalakshmi Barua to immediately submit a report on the Prithani land deal a couple of days back.” Roy said he had asked all circle officers five months ago to check all cases relating to instances where agricultural land was used for non-agricultural purposes.
“We are allowing land transfer after getting an affidavit that agricultural land will be used for agriculture purposes only.