DIBRUGARH, April 25 - The Harishankar Brahma Committee on protection of land rights of the indigenous people today heard members of the public of Dibrugarh district at an interactive session held at the District Library auditorium here today.
The committee has been constituted by the State government to recommend inputs for land reforms. Brahma, a former Chief Election Commissioner of India, said that the Committee is likely to ready its report by June this year.
At the function held here today, written and verbal submissions were offered by members from the Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha, Dibrugarh Bar Association, the local committees of AASU, Sonowal Kachari Students’ Union and ATTSA, gaon burhas, mouzadars and others. They offered various suggestions for the safeguard of land rights of the native population, eviction of encroachers, land transfers and land record keeping.
Apart from Brahma, the other members of the Committee who were present today included Revenue and Disaster Management joint secretary Bubul Lekharu, advocates Anil Bhattacharjee, Ramesh Borpatra Gohain and social workers Ajay Kumar Dutta of Guwahati and Srikumar Dohutia of Kakopathar.
On Monday, the team had a similar interaction with the public at Tinsukia. Brahma said the Tinsukia function was actively participated by youth and student leaders and he appreciated their alertness over the need for safeguarding the indigenous population with proper laws and reforms.
A sore point resented by many at both the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia venues, were the unnecessary lectures given by AGP and BJP MLAs and the local Lok Sabha MP. The public were of the opinion that these people should speak at the Assembly and in Parliament, and they should not take away the precious time that should have been for members of the public. As the politicians spoke, several people were seen walking out of the venues, as if in protest.
During his opening address here today, Brahma spoke on the need for a strong set of laws and on strict implementation of these, and warned that unless this was achieved, encroachments and other social problems can never be obliterated. He also emphasised on time-bound implementation of public welfare measures which are meaningful to the society. He cited the example of the long overdue commissioning of the Bogibeel bridge. “That bridge was to be completed in 2007, but ten years later, there is a very slim chance of a year-end readiness even now,” he lamented. He revealed that the Bogibeel bridge was marked as a vital national defence infrastructure way back in 2003, when he was serving the Central government as a joint secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs. “I have retired from service, but the bridge is yet to be ready for the people,” he remarked. He, therefore, wants to stress on timeliness in all aspects of State programmes. He gave tips on being people-friendly to officers of the civil administration here.