Arunachal Pradesh
Murkongselek station in Assam

The ongoing Murkongselek-Pasighat BG Railway (extended) project has been hit hard by the dispute between the Arunachal Pradesh government and families affected by the project in the East Siang district.

These affected families are not satisfied with the value of their lands that have been acquired for the extended Murkongselek-Pasighat broad gauge railway track (Phase-II).

They alleged that the state government has adopted a discriminating attitude as regards the fixation of land values for Phase-II project, which they termed ‘negligible’ in comparison to the rate paid during the phase-I project.

The railway authority had paid compensation to landowners of Rs 891 along with 100 per cent solatium and 12 per cent interest per square metre of land during Phase-I of the project.

However, the Arunachal government has fixed the land value at Rs 463.59 per square metre without including factor-2 multiplication at the same location.

The reduction of land value and exclusion of factor-2 multiplication is causing grave concern among the 128 affected families of East Siang.

Also read: Arunachal: CBI team visits NHAI office in Itanagar to conduct probe into Highway land compensation scam

The affected families under the banner of the Railway Project Affected Land Owners Association also conducted a protest meeting at Ruksin on Friday and took the unanimous decision to move the Arunachal government to scrap the new land value policy.

They will also demand that the railway authorities pay 12 per cent interest on the land acquired under the provisions of the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act, 2013 (cropland being occupied for the last five years without payment of compensation).

The aggrieved families also warned the state government that they would move the court of law against the authority if their genuine demands remain unheard.

The state’s land management secretary, citing a complaint of exorbitant rate received from the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) officials in March last year had issued a new notification without using factor-2 multiplication as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 in case of Phase-II project.

The Arunachal government later issued an order that the payment would be made with the same rate fixed for Murkongselek in Assam without using factor-2 multiplication.

While the affected families of Murkongselek were paid land compensation using factor-2 multiplication, but the affected families of East Siang bordering Jonai, are being deprived of the benefit under the same railway project.

The state’s industry department also received around Rs 13.46 crore from the Indian Railways in the name of land compensation at Rs 891 per sq-meter against industry land acquisition for the rail project at Niglok (Phase-I).

Prafulla Kaman

Prafulla Kaman is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dhemaji. He can be reached at: pkradio16@gmail.com