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CM's house within state territory, Assam govt clarifies

March 28, 2012 18:43 IST

The Assam government has told the state assembly that the chief minister's residence atop Koinadhara Hills at Khanapara in Guwahati city, bordering Meghalaya, lies within the territory of Assam.

Assam Border Areas Minister of State Siddique Ahmed made a statement in the house in a written reply to a question put to the government. He also said that over 80,000 hectares of Assam territory was under illegal possession of five neighboring states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura.

The encroached lands are in 14 districts of Assam -- Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup Metropolitan, Kamrup , Goalpara, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Karbi Anglong, Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj. 

Over 59,000 hectares have been encroached by Nagaland followed by 15,000 hectares by Arunachal Pradesh and the rest by the three other states, Ahmed said. 

The minister added that Assam had already approached the Supreme Court to get its lands, occupied by Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, back. He said efforts were on by the revenue and forest departments to evict the encroachers. 

The minister also tried to put to rest the controversy over the chief minister's official residence at Koinadhara hillock in Guwahati by saying that it was well within the territory of Assam.

The chief minister's residence had been in the news recently after a Meghalaya legislator claimed in Meghalaya Assembly that it falls within a disputed areas and the land belonged to Meghalaya. The legislator also said the Assam chief minister should be asked to either vacate his official residence or pay house rent for it to the Meghalaya government.

K Anurag in Guwahati