Monday, February 6, 2023

1,148 ‘unauthorised structures’ on railway land: NFR

Staff Reporter

Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) disclosed that there are 1,148 “unauthorised structures” on railway land in Dimapur.
Disclosing this to Nagaland Post, NFR chief public relations officer (CPRO) Sabyasachi De said the railways had sent out eviction notices to the encroachers on December 21, 2022 served under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971.
NFR first pasted its show-cause notice on November 14, 2022 to the “unauthorised occupants”, directing them to respond to the estate office, NFR, Lumding on or before November 29, 2022, while another notice was served to present themselves in person on December 6, 2022 for the hearing.
After expiry of the deadline, the NFR estate officer issued another notice on December 16, 2022, asking the “unauthorised occupants” to vacate land within 15 days from the date of publication of the notice (December 16, 2022). This meant that lands were to be vacated on or before December 31,2022.
“Once the period of notices lapses, the railways will start eviction of all illegal encroachers with the help of district administration,” he stated.
It may be pointed out that NFR did not serve notices personally to the “unauthorised occupants” but pasted on walls in and around Dimapur railway station. It also did not publish information about the notices in local newspapers to ensure require attention.
De also informed that the total area of land earmarked for development in Dimapur was not finalised as the planning and survey works were still in progress.
He disclosed that Dimapur railway station was proposed to be developed as a “world class” station, with double tracks from Lumding to Furkating. He said these proposals were in final stages and that an exact date could not be committed until plans were finalised.
The CPRO said once occupants in earmarked locations were evicted, the land would be utilised to upgrade Dimapur railway station and also modify Dimapur yard.
De also said if lands were not cleared off occupants, then economic development of the State, particularly Dimapur, would be adversely affected.
He also said introduction of new trains as demanded by people of Nagaland might also get affected.
Asked whether the State government was aware of the eviction notice, he claimed that copies of notices were also sent to district administration. He said the district administration was the competent authority responsible for maintaining law and order during the eviction drive.
It may be recalled that when asked by Nagaland Post last year on the inaction by the district administration to clear unauthorised occupation, Dimapur deputy commissioner had pointed out that eviction from railway land was the responsibility of NFR estate officer and not the local administration.
NFR officials also acknowledged this and said they would be initiating a move for eviction in the light of clear directive to railways from Supreme Court in December 2021 to initiate action against unauthorized land occupants.

Must Read