Arunachal: AAPSU, RGUSU raises voice on land encroachment issue

Itanagar

Taking strong cognizance of the illegal land encroachment taking place in Rajiv Gandhi University (RGU), the Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union (RGUSU) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Friday voiced their concerns over the alleged inaction by concerned authorities on the issue during a joint meeting held today at Registrar’s office, RGU.

In order to prevent further destruction of the central university, both the students’ body have called for ‘Immediate suspension’ of the ongoing construction work of the university’s boundary wall, till the actual area of the 34-year-old premiere institution is identified.

The university authority is alleged of altering the old and actual map of the university. Sources also said that the university administration had unlawfully issued No Objection Certificates (NOC) to private parties in the past, helping them obtain LPCs for their illegally captured lands.

Decrying the forceful takeover of the varsity lands, AAPSU V.P (protocol) Dr. Tayuk Sonam said that in the near future RGU will no longer be able to live up to the expectations of the indigenous people of the state, if the university authority indecorously encourage such unlawful acts.

We talk about world Class University and we let this happen. The issues related to the contractors who are building the wall should not be the concern of the university administration; instead the old records such as MoUs and maps should b retraced soon for demarcating the university’s actual amount of area, said Sonam.

How can the authority build the wall according to the convenience of the contractors and land owners, this is so disheartening, he added.

“The university authority should wake up to the grim reality and intervene immediately and decisively to stand against the growing encroachment and illegal occupation inside the university premises. University land should not be compromised at any cost”, said the AAPSU VP.

Expressing the readiness of the apex students’ body to collaborate with the RGUSU in driving out the land encroachers Sonam, said the safety and security of RGU cannot be the responsibility of only those who study here or work here. RGU is a state icon and it belongs to the people of the state and the conversation about what happens to RGU cannot be limited to a discussion within the institute, he added.

Informing about discrepancies in the administration, AAPSU’s Education Secretary Prem Camdir Tallang said that there are about three different maps doing rounds. The authenticity of the real one should be made and wall should be constructed on its basis, he said

RGUSU President Giogi Aja said that the suspension had become compulsory because some individuals were encroaching on the varsity, at will.

Agreeing with Sonam, Giogi informed, “Protecting the land has been a major failure over the years because of the lackadaisical attitude of the authority. In the beginning we didn’t even have any written records such as LPC of the university and this has hugely contributed to the alleged encroachers”.

This disregard to academic aesthetics and campus serenity will not be tolerated therefore until and unless we have resurveyed and ascertained the original university land, any kinds of construction activities along the boundaries will not be carried out, said Giogi.

According to RGU Registrar Tomo Riba, the institute has been battling with land encroachers and marauding land grabbers for years.

“The carelessness of a government surveyor in the initial stage when marking the boundaries designated for RGU was, perhaps, the remote cause of the encroachment. At that time we didn’t possess any legal documents or ownership papers too, therefore many illegal settlers intruded and confiscated our lands. And ironically, some acres of land has been encroached by our own employees”, the Registrar informed.

Riba also informed that some people are claiming land ownership of even such lands that has no use for them or anyone. He has also urged the local people to contribute to the development of RGU rather than complain at everything, as they are the immediate benefiters.

Assistant Engineer B.K. Shah informed that about 70 percent of the boundary wall has been successfully constructed after lot of negotiations with the nearby land owners.

Also present in the meeting, Senior Security Officer Techi Badal shared how he dealt with illegal settlers in the past lodging several complaints about them to the university authority. However he said that he stopped doing so after seeing no action coming from the authorities concerened.

He also claimed that the boundary wall committee has manipulated the whole thing and led to this disputes.

How can the chairman of the committee simply decide that he will keep for himself the leftover eight acres of land? Who is he to decide anyway? It is abusing your position and power, he said.

At the time of the establishment of the university, the total extent of land was 302 acres but the total land in use by the university has reduced rapidly. The university has officially been left to battle with different parties on numerous land-grabbing cases and people are not willing to cooperate.

According to available information, of the 302 acres of the university, more than 8 acres have been encroached on by various people, including employees and local people.

An interesting find was also that some locals are claiming the university’s women technological park, which falls under the university’s jurisdiction

The joint meeting was also attended by RGU Research Scholars’ Forum.

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