Aizawl:  The protesting people in Mizoram have lifted the National Highway 306 blockade after authorities assured them to release compensation.

Over 1,700 private landowners, who were affected due to widening of highways started a blockade on Thursday along the stretch of NH 306 and NH 6 between Vairengte and Kawnpui in northern Mizoram’s Kolasib district demanding compensation.

The agitators had prevented incoming from Assam from entering Mizoram through Vairengte, affecting supply of essential commodities to the northeastern state. However, no outgoing vehicle was stopped.

NH-6 and 306 landowners association secretary H Lalrinawma said they called off the stir around 4.30 pm on Saturday following negotiations with leaders of the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA), an influential body, at the behest of Chief Minister Zoramthanga.

“The CYMA leaders assured us of help to ensure the credit of compensation within this month. Considering the importance of the highways and the inconvenience caused to the people due to the stir, we finally called it off,” Lalrinawma said.

NH 306, which begins in Silchar in neighbouring Assam’s Barak valley and runs southward till Kolasib, is the lifeline of Mizoram as most supplies come through this highway. It is joined with NH 6, which terminates near Zokhawthar on the India-Myanmar border.

Lalrinawma said the agitators will later decide on the future course of action if the compensation is not released within November.

They are demanding compensation for their lands, which fall in the area where the proposed widening of the national highways has been taken up by National Infrastructure and Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).

They claimed that 50-70 per cent of the compensation has been released to the competent authority for land acquisition for release to landowners.

NHIDCL Executive Director (Projects) Virender Kumar Jakhar said that the compensation was delayed for release due to a dispute between the forest and revenue departments.

The forest department said the compensation does not come under its purview, while revenue officials could not be contacted for a comment.

Meanwhile, areca nut growers in Hachhek assembly constituency in Mamit district, who agitated against the government by closing all government offices within the segment from Tuesday, have also called off their stir on the fifth day on Saturday.

Spearheaded by Hachhek Bial Kuhva Chingtu Pawl (HBKCP), an umbrella body of all areca nut growers’ societies in Hachhek area, and other organisations, the agitated growers demanded that the state government ensure their products are transported and sold outside the state, especially in Assam.

HBKCP general secretary Lalremruata Khiangte said that in the meeting of the umbrella society and other NGOs on Saturday, it was decided to call off the agitation following a request from the government.

They decided to wait for the government response till November 15 and if no positive steps are taken within this period, the HBKCP and other NGOs will decide the future course of action, he said.

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