Alert on use of park land in Kaziranga
Alert on use of park land

- Govt seeks report on change in plots around Kaziranga


Guwahati, March 9: Plots acquired to set up “farms” near Kaziranga have allegedly been transformed into resorts, prompting the state government to issue notices to hotel owners asking them if they have taken necessary permission for the change.

Technically called “change in land use”, it refers to any “transformation” brought about on a plot apart from the expressed purpose it was acquired for.

Officials in the Golaghat and Nagaon district administrations said notices have been issued recently to all concerned, quizzing them on the steps they had taken on land use change.

“It is true that many of these had undergone land use change without taking permission from the necessary authorities. This has led to problems galore,” an official in the Kaliabor subdivision of Nagaon district said.

“A vast majority of them have converted farmland into hotels and other things without going through the necessary procedure,” the official said.

The action came after the Kaziranga bio-diversity conservation committee, which is now looking into the impact of development on the park, wanted to ascertain whether permission had been taken by the hospitality industry before setting up hotels or resorts.

It wants to ensure that the park does not suffer damage because of unrestricted tourism.

The official said they have received replies from various resort/hotels owners who said their activities had done no harm to the park and they were working for the conservation of the national park.

“They have given affidavits saying so and some of them have also gone to court and in one case we got a verdict in our favour,” the official added.

“We wanted to know the status of activities outside the park and how they have come about. We want the park to be safe for the future,” principal secretary (revenue) V.K. Pipersenia, who is also a member of the committee, said.

He said once they get the report, they will send it to the government.

“The government will take a holistic view of the situation, as closing down hotels would also not be realistic,” the official added.

A source said the committee has also suggested that for any new construction involving change in land use, the person concerned will have to get a no-objection from the office of director Kaziranga National Park.

“This has to be done otherwise people will apply for farmland and then start some other business. Many have done it, which is already causing harm. We have to be strict, otherwise the future of the park is at stake,” the source said.

“There was also a suggestion from the committee for a hotel zone in Jhakalabandha area where all such constructions would take place,” he said.

The biggest problem in this case is the lack of legislation in the state to stop the change of land use, an official said.

No comments:

Post a Comment