Friday, August 6, 2021
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Infringement of Article 371 (A) by Railway Authority

Ever since the creation of statehood, Nagaland has been protected by Article 371(A) of the constitution wherein it is clearly stated that the land and its resources belong to the people. Its other words, neither the state government nor the central government owns land within the state of Nagaland. Accordingly, developmental activities has been taking place only after land acquisition or payment of land compensation to the landowner(s).
Throughout the years that followed, the Central Forces – be it Military, Para Military, Central Reserved Police (CRPF), Indian Postal Services etc. have been carrying out developmental activities after land acquisition or payment of land compensation. Even the recent railway line extension to Zubza (Kohima) could take off only after the clearance of necessary land compensation.
The Indian Railway Authority has been occupying 8 kilometres stretch of land under Dimapur district itself for decades without land acquisition, allocation of works or any other such privileges to the landowners. Hence, the Rangapahar Area Railway Landowners Union, Dimapur (RARLUD) has been persistently and repeatedly claiming land compensation from the Railway Authority without any positive response from the latter.
The General Manager, Indian Railways on his recent visit to Dimapur stated that Dimapur Railway could not be adequately developed owing to work hindrance from the landowners. The remark is quite an irresponsible utterance, so unbecoming of a responsible offices. Where is the proper documentation of a land acquisition/compensation to prove the rights of Railway Authority? The imminent problem will remain unresolved so long as Railway Authority fails to address the issue in its right perspective and the rightful demands of landowners are not fulfilled.
Kiqheho Zhimomi
Secretary, Rangapahar Area Railway Landowners Union,
Dimapur (RARLUD)

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