GUWAHATI, Sept 3: The Assam government announced its decision on Sunday to acquire the Ginger hotel and its associated land for the development of Silsako Beel as a reservoir, according to an official order.
“In exercise of the powers conferred on me under section 3(1) of the Assam Land Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1954 (A XV of 1964) under Notification No. RLA81/93/5-A dated Dispur, the 15 of July 1993, 1, Pallav Gopal Jha, IAS. Deputy Commissioner & Collector, Kamrup Metropolitan District, Guwahati, do hereby requisition under Section 361) of the Assam Land (Requisition and Acquisition) Act, 1964, the land described in the Schedule below along with building standing over the land with effect from the date of this order, for the purpose of development of Sisako Beel as a reservoir and facilitate the mitigation of Urban flooding in pursuance of Department of Housing & Urban Affairs,” the order read.
The government had initiated an eviction drive in the Chachal area of Guwahati on May 13, 2022. Another eviction drive took place, clearing 100 meters from both sides of the Silsako Canal on February 27 and 28, 2023, and again on March 2 and 3, 2023, affecting 150 bighas and around 500 families.
Locals have raised concerns that the administration is conducting these drives without prior notice or proper rehabilitation and resettlement measures.
According to the state government, the area was occupied by illegal settlements, contributing to flooding in Guwahati city. They also claimed that the area fell under the Water Bodies Act 2008.
However, locals argue that in 2008, the previous government (Congress) passed a water body preservation act without properly demarcating the affected areas, leading to the current situation.
Notably, even the Ginger Hotel was situated within the demarcated lake area. Still, chief minister Sarma has stated that talks are underway with the hotel management to provide them with an alternative plot since the land was allocated by the previous government.