Encroached Goalpara forest areas will be cleared as per law: Himanta
Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma speaks during the programme at Goalpara Sainik School

Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday asserted that the encroached forest reserve areas in Goalpara district would be cleared through an eviction drive in the coming days, adhering to an order of the Gauhati High Court.

“Regarding this, I have informed the MLAs in the district that the eviction would have to be carried out in the forest areas of Goalpara district in accordance with the court’s directive,” the chief minister said while speaking to media persons on the sidelines of a programme.  

Sarma further said that the families having complaints need to put forth their grievances before the Gauhati High Court, either through the legislators or through social organisations.

“Else, I see no reason for the state government not to abide by the court’s order, and accordingly take up the eviction drive in the district,” the chief minister, who was in Goalpara to attend a programme at Sainik School Goalpara, said.

He, however, said the four MLAs of the district could take up measures to find ways to relocate the underprivileged families from forest areas to non-forest areas.

“I have also directed the Goalpara deputy commissioner to relocate these families to non-forest areas from forest areas,” the chief minister said.

Reiterating that the state government would be “with the law of the land”, he asserted that no rubber cultivation would be allowed to be carried out in the forest reserve areas.

On the other hand, the chief minister expressed concern over the population explosion in lower Assam, particularly Goalpara district, saying that the “increase in population in the district from 2001 till date is staggering.”

“There has been a 30 per cent decadal growth of population in Goalpara district since the year 2001. So, given this population explosion in lower Assam, there are bound to be conflicts (land allocation). Today, an average family in the district has about eight to nine members. So, how will the government allot land,” Sarma said.

Meanwhile, speaking at the event, the chief minister said that Assam was now on the path towards becoming one of the most progressive states on all fronts and that in the last 18 months, the state has been able to achieve extraordinary successes on multiple fronts.

He said that Sainik School Goalpara shouldn’t remain disconnected from the wave of growth and progress a new and resurgent Assam is offering.

Citing the example of Lieutenant General Rana Pratap Kalita, the current General Officer Commanding-In-Chief of the Indian Army’s Eastern Command, and an alumnus of Sainik School Goalpara, the chief minister said the educational institution’s current crop of students should also work hard so that they too can get admitted to National Defence Academy and Indian Military Academy.

He appealed to the students of Sainik School Goalpara never to compromise with their aims and ambitions and remain committed to fulfilling them, irrespective of the hurdles that might come their way.

The chief minister further assured of a five-year roadmap for Sainik School Goalpara so that the educational institution could be transformed into one of the top 10 educational institutions in the country.

Also Read | Assam govt will help in Sainik School infra development: Himanta

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