Essential supplies affected as landowners block Mizoram’s lifeline | Latest news of India | Popgen Tech
Supply of essential items was partially hit in Mizoram amid indefinite blockade organized by landowners on National Highway-306. The highway connects the landlocked state with the rest of the country, an official said Friday.
Since Thursday, vehicles coming from outside the state via Assam at Vairengte, the first border village in Mizoram, were not allowed to enter the state because more than 17,000 landowners along the stretch of NH-306 and NH-6 between Vairengte and Kawnpui villages . north of Mizoram in the blockaded Kolasib district.
The agitators, however, allowed all outgoing vehicles to cross the inter-state border and also inter-district or intra-village movement in the strike-hit areas.
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Land owners have demanded compensation from the government claiming their land will be damaged by the proposed expansion of national highways.
Director of Mizoram food, civil supplies and consumer affairs Andrew H. Vanlaldika said that the supply of essential goods from Assam has not completely stopped, but has taken a partial hit.
The state, however, does not face a shortage of essential goods because they could somehow be transported on another road from Rengtekawn-Bairabi to the neighboring Hailakandi district of Assam, said Andrew.
People familiar with the matter said that the agitators are also planning to block the Rengtekawn-Bairabi road.
Vanlaldika added that essential supplies could be severely hit if the agitators set up a blockade in Rengtekawn, which is on the national highway between Vairengte and Kawnpui.
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The NH-6 and 306 Land Owners Association stated that there are about 1,735 private owners on four projects (package-3 to 6) between Vairengte and Kawnpui roads where the national highways will be widened.
The projects will be executed by the National Infrastructure and Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).
Owners’ association secretary H Lalrinawma said those among them who were affected have been assured of compensation ₹150 crores.
Although 50-75% of the compensation amount meant for landowners in projects 3 and 4 has been credited to the account of the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA) and approved for release, the NHIDCL has instructed the authorities to put he is in custody. as the state forest department informed the construction company that a large part of the areas (between projects 3 and 6) fall under notified forest areas, said Lalrinawma.
Forest department officials, however, said that compensation is not in the domain of the department and the NHIDCL can provide compensation to any claimant as it wishes.
NHIDCL has already submitted applications for clearance in three out of eight projects on NH 303 and NH-6 from Vairengte-Kawnpui-Sairang near Aizawl, they said. The official, however, refused to comment on the stretch of notified forest area along NH-306 and NH-6.
“Though the issue (deforestation) is in process, it cannot be expedited due to technical problems in the PARIVESH portal, which is being improved,” a senior official said.
NHIDCL executive director (Projects) Virender Kumar Jakhar said the compensation was delayed in release due to a dispute between the state forest department and the revenue department.
“Our good part, there is no problem to release compensation. The main problem is that there is a dispute between forest and revenue department,” he said.
Officials at the state revenue department could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, government offices in Hachhek assembly constituency in Mizoram’s west Mamit district on the border of Assam and Tripura remained closed for four consecutive days on Friday due to agitation by areca farmers in the area.
The farmers have asked the state government to take steps to ensure that their produce is transported and sold in neighboring Assam.
The black areca growers society on Friday submitted a representation to President Droupadi Murmu seeking help. Planters Association general secretary, Lalremruata Khiangte, said that they will start blocking inter-state and intra-state highways from Saturday.
Khiangte said the agitators will stage a complete shutdown from November 9 if the government does not take action on or before November 8.