Imphal, February 19, 2018 : Chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh warned illegal encroachers at river banks to voluntarily move out from the area by March 3, if not, the government would be compelled to evict the encroachers by force.
Biren Singh was stated inspecting for the dredging work being taken up at various areas of Imphal river today.
Chief minister was accompanied by minister for water resources Letpao Haokip, MLA Keirao AC L. Rameshwor Meetei and officials of the department during the inspection of dredging work being taken up at the river banks of Khurai Telipati, Kairang and Kyamgei areas.
Addressing the media about the encroachment along the river banks, the chief minister further stated that illegal land encroachment is one of the major problems for causing flash floods in the State. He said that under the Flood Plain Zoning Act, no land pattas within 30 feet around the river can be issued to any individual. Legally no one can reside within these protected area, he added. If an individual got patta within this area, then the patta could have been obtained by forgery or they might be having fake documents. Under the MLR& LR Act and Flood Plain Zoning Act, we have started taken up certain steps and served show cause notices to those land encroachers and given 45 days. He appealed the people of the state to remove the crematorium, houses, clubs, toilets etc. that are being constructed along the river banks.
Chief minister said the government would try its best to protect and save the lives and damages caused by floods in the state. Before the monsoon season, we will be dredging the river beds of rivers such as Imphal River, Thoubal River, Iril River and Kongba River etc. and eviction process of all encroachment at river banks would begin soon to control the damage caused by the floods during rainy season, he added. He mentioned that if we rely on Centre’s financial assistance for cleaning up the river beds in the State, then we would definitely face the suffering caused by the floods in the next rainy season. Under NLCPR we were given Rs. 15 crore in the past, out of which a sum of Rs. 10 crore has been used for procuring the Bored Piles and other machineries for dredging of river beds in the state. So with the remaining Rs. 5 crore, the Water Resources Department has started the dredging work with rented machineries, he added.
During the inspection, Letpao said the department in consultation with the concerned MLAs is chalking out plans to protect from flash floods in the near future. He stressed that there is a master plan to clean the whole stretch of Imphal river from Kairang to Lilong area. However due to financial constraint, there are some limitation to clean up the whole stretch. We have started the dredging work along the Imphal river at selected areas which are prone to floods, he added.