Editorial

Land grabbers

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/4/2018 11:50:56 AM IST

 In Dimapur town, almost all government-owned lands have been “totally privatised” much before the Government of India decided to embrace economic reforms through privatisation of government assets. One of the reasons why encroachments in Dimapur have taken such a virulent form is the involvement of officials and staff of the departments themselves. This was what one could understand from the speech of state Health & Family Welfare minister, S. Pangnyu Phom while inaugurating the computerized registration and billing counter at District Hospital Dimapur on October 3. It is not out of place to particularise the alleged encroachment in the DHD as strongly spoken out by the minister himself. If a land that has been earmarked to construct infrastructure for treatment of the sick and dying is also being encroached then there is no place in Nagaland that can be spared. Perhaps not even if the land belongs to the Almighty himself. The issue of blatant encroachment on government lands had been reported and commented in this newspaper since 1990 but somehow the government ignored the concerns. If encroachment is almost legalised as in Dimapur, it is a small wonder that even national highways and roads have been “privatised”. The encroachment syndrome in Dimapur has also ensured that even drains in public places no longer exist and which has been the main cause for inundation and flooding. In the light of the “privatisation” of government properties since the 80s, it appears that soon entire Dimapur and even including the road reservation areas along the national highways will be occupied under the encroachment principle of ‘right of occupation’. The same is the case with acres upon acres of government lands that once occupied the prime spots of Dimapur not too long ago. The manner in which the land revenue branch, in collusion with encroachers and other officials, has allegedly granted No Objection Certificate (NoC) and pattas has to be seen to be believed. Almost all lands of department such as Supply, Excise, Geology & Mining, PWD, PHE, various branches under Veterinary & Animal Husbandry, DIC, Industries, Prison and jail, education, medical and even police colonies etc, today belong to individuals. A few years back, then opposition Congress legislators had accused the NPF-led DAN government of conniving with officials in issuing pattas on encroached highway areas in Dimapur. The party had even gone to the extent of demanding that those officials and staff responsible be identified and book and awarded due punishment. The medical minister in his speech had also vowed to leave no stone unturned to book those staff and doctors involved in stealing land that is meant for the benefit of the public in general and patients in particular. Well, that may be the right response but given the fact that such an action would be like asking for the moon; there is no way that the government ever or will have, the political will to do just that. The time has come and perhaps late too, that the state authorities need to tighten against encroachment of government and public lands especially in Dimapur. Unless there is strict enforcement of rule and unless officers and staff are made accountable for their wrong actions, the problem will continue.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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