By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, August 24: The Affected Land Owners’ Association (ALOA/NH-150) has alleged that the concerned authorities of the State government have refused to release compensation to rightful land owners whose lands have been affected by the current double-laning on NH-150 from Finch Corner to Dungrei Junction, even though the 25 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) had already deposited crores of rupees in the accounts of the concerned authorities towards payment of land acquisition some years back.
Disclosing this to media persons during a press conference held at Ikror Restaurant, Hamleikhong on Saturday last, chairman, ALOA/NH-150 Zanyo Varam said that towards payment of compensation to the affected land owners of the stretch from Finch Corner to Dungrei Junction, the 25 BRTF through 84 RCC/GREF deposited a sum of Rs 3, 88, 69, 448 to the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul on 15 October, 2012.
He further said that earlier on February 16 in the same year, the GREF authority also deposited a sum of Rs. 3, 08, 37, 000 to the chief forest conservator, Forest, Government of Manipur, Jagadish.
Maintaining that out of this, so far Rs. 94, 65, 598 has only been released as compensation for standing structures/buildings he rued that payment for land acquisition has been completely kept out of the picture.
“We have repeatedly apprised the government of the matter by submitting representations to the DC since 2010 but nothing concrete has come forth,” Varam continued adding that the association has recently submitted a fourth memorandum to the Revenue minister Dependro through Ukhrul DC on August 4 last.
Following this, Ukhrul DC Hrisheekesh Modak, called a joint meeting with ALOA and BRTF representatives led by 2IC on August 20 wherein he assured the association that a fresh survey would be conducted and subsequently publish a new list including the names of left out land owners within two weeks’ time, Varam informed.
It was also agreed upon by both sides that until this happens work progress in portions where cases have not been settled should remain stalled.
Further, accusing the government authorities of drawing a veil over fixing of rates for affected lands, Varam said that since the authorities have not disclosed it, affected land owners are in the dark about the actual amount they should claim for their lands.
Which is why we demand that our compensation be settled as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, which was enacted by Parliament last year to provide just and fair compensation to those whose land is taken away for constructing roads, government offices etc. and has come into force from January 1 this year, he asserted.
Meanwhile, ALOA is conducting its general assembly on 29 August to work out their further course of actions in pursuit of their demands.