DIPHU, Sept 1: “Around two hectares of farmland belonging to the Sericulture Department under the jurisdiction of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) has been encroached and sold by a retired chowkidar of the department,” alleged Executive Member (EM), KAAC, Sericulture, Panchayat & Rural Development and Irrigation, Lunsing Teron here on Thursday.
The EM was on a visit to various Eri Concentration Centres (ECC) where Eri silkworms are supposedly reared by the Sericulture Department after taking charge of the department in Karbi Anglong.
EM Teron’s visit was aimed at taking stock of the condition of ECCs.
“Also, there has been no eri silkworm production for the last five years,” he further claimed.
The EM was surprised to know that for the last five years there was no silkworm production and the rearing house and staff quarters in ECCs have been in a deplorable condition all this time.
Visiting Japarajan ECC, the staff had informed the EM about the lack of facilities.
“There is a need for construction of a rearing house, staff quarters and toilet facility. In the 3.20 bighas of land, only mature eri silkworm host plants kesseru stands. There is no nursery plantation of kesseru plants. There is no eri silkworm production. There are seven staff and one assistant manager,” he said.
The EM directed the officials to take immediate measures to construct a rearing house, toilet and repairing of staff quarters.
At Lakhijan ECC, the EM found it was the same condition with dilapidated staff quarters and eri silkworm rearing house. The gate is broken, the roof of the rearing house and staff quarters are damaged, roofing sheets are worn and rusted. In the 8 hectares land only few mature kesseru plants are standing. Thick vegetation covers the compound.
The in-charge of Lakhijan ECC, Bishnu Ram Das said wild elephants have entered and damaged the houses. On the deplorable condition of the houses, the EM instructed the officials to carry out immediate repairs of both rearing house and staff quarters. He asked the staff to start planting kesseru plants and to start rearing eri silkworms.
At Hidipi ECC it was green with availability of kesseru plants but the rearing house and staff quarters need urgent repairs, the EM inspected. One of the fourth grade employees said there has been no production for the last three years due to non availability of eri silkworm seeds. The EM has directed the officials for immediate repair of the rearing house to start rearing of eri silkworms. He also said a ring well will be constructed.
At Dillai ECC, the assistant manager, Birensing Kumar Hazarika informed the EM that 2 hectares of kesseru farmland has been encroached by a retired chowkidar of the farm, late Rajesh Teron. Teron had made a patta in his name on the encroached land. The land was later sold to another person. The assistant manager further informed that the total allotted land was 6 hectares, but now only 3.89 hectares is left. He also said that 152 metres of the farmland is lost to four lanes of NH construction.
The EM said, “With whatever resources we have with us, we have to develop the farm so that we can give some benefit to the people. The people have elected us and in these five years, it is my duty to serve the people. In this five-year term I will try my best to bring change to the Sericulture Department so that people know about the benefits of Sericulture.”
He assured the staff of immediate repair of quarters, construction of rearing houses and ring wells. The EM also sought cooperation from the officials and staff of Sericulture in delivering service to the public.
He was accompanied by superintendent and i/s, additional director, Sericulture, Rongbong Rongphar; assistant director, Monush Chakraborty and OSD Mohon Barman.