Wednesday, June 7, 2023

DNSU flays NFR, state govt on railway land grab


Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) has taken serious note of the allegations made by Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) regarding encroachment of railway land in Dimapur and said it was compelled to question the silence of the state government on the matter.
DNSU vice president B. Mhajan Tsopoe and general secretary Sedelo T. Vadeo referred to several reports published in the Nagaland Post, which had been highlighting the factors affecting economic development of Dimapur since the past decade but that the State government appeared to be turning a blind eye.
Citing a report published in this newspaper about the allegations made by NFR chief public relations officer (CPRO) that 30.283 hectares out of 53.806 hectares of railway land had been encroached, DNSU expressed dismay to learn about the “unsatisfactory assistance” from the State government both in demarcation of boundaries and removal of encroachers.
In this regard, DNSU wanted to know from the state government as to whether the claims were true and also why the State government was yet to respond to NFR in this regard or draw the matter to the attention of public?
It may be recalled that the CPRO of NFR had admitted to Nagaland Post that though NFR had approached the State government several times for assistance, there was no “appreciable” assistance received either in demarcation of land or in removal of encroachments.
CPRO also admitted that the NFR could not take any action for removing the squatters but could only file FIRs and bring it to the notice of the authorities in Nagaland.
In this regard, DNSU has demanded suspension of those officials involved in issuing random land pattas and disclosure of names of those involved. Further, DNSU reminded all involved, that railway land was not a “personal property” and no official had the authority to sell or issue land pattas for his/her personal interest.
The union also supported the statement made by Dimapur MLAs (Moatoshi Longkumer and Azheto Zhimomi) on setting up of up an “inquiry committee” to verify if the allegations made by NFR were true and clarify the crux of the issue.
Meanwhile, DNSU also questioned NFR as to why the matter was not brought to public domain, if it (NFR) was unsatisfied with the kind of response from the State government.
The union said neglect of such a pertinent issue by all stakeholders was questionable and demanded transparent explanations.
DNSU reminded that railways serve as the lifeline for almost 90% of the student community studying outside Nagaland as most of them could not afford flight tickets. The signatories also disclosed that DNSU has been receiving multiple complaints that the sole train terminal at Dimapur has been shifted somewhere else, thereby causing immense trouble for the students.
To make it worse, DNSU also regretted that even Nagaland Express supposed to serve Dimapur passengers, has been hijacked by NFR.
The union therefore demanded that the State government bring Nagaland Express back to where it was supposed to belong.
DNSU also maintained that the NFR’s decision vis-à-vis Nagaland Express was unsubstantiated and biased and that such a drastic move had caused severe inconvenience to travellers.
The Union also reminded the state government of its responsibility to value and hold on to the things that belonged to Nagaland and its inhabitants. DNSU said it was disheartening to see that all stakeholders had forgotten their responsibility for the welfare and future of younger generation.
DNSU cautioned that such discriminatory treatment by both the State government and NFR would not be tolerated and urged all concerned not to take the student community for granted.
DNSU therefore, sought immediate intervention and resolution of the issue by the State government and NFR, adding that the union would pursue the matter until favorable decisions are made by the state government and NFR.


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