From Bhupen Goswami
GUWAHATI : Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday visited Gorukhuti in Sipajhar, Darrang to inspect the riverine areas that were encroached by illegal settlers near Dholpur Shiva Mandir. After reaching Gorukhuti, he travelled in a country boat and visited the Shiva temple situated atop a hillock. He offered prayers at the temple and interacted with the management committee. It is to be mentioned, a total 120 bigha land out of Shiva Mandir’s 180 bigha area were encroached by illegal occupants and these lands have been freed by police and district administration.
Later talking to the newsmen, the Chief Minister appreciated the efforts of the police and district administration to evict the squatters and he called on the remaining encroachers to wilfully vacate the lands. Saying that all steps would be taken to preserve and protect the historic Shiva Temple, he assured the management committee of setting up a Manikut, build a guest house and boundary walls of the temple. He called on all sections of people, cutting across religious beliefs, to join hands with the government in making the temple a place of tourist attraction, while preserving its sanctity.
The Chief Minister reiterated the state government’s commitment to make the lands of satras and temples in the state encroachment free and said the state government would take all steps to protect Assam’s land, identity, culture, language and heritage from aggressors and illegal migrants. He also informed that the temple management committee would be entitled to decide how to utilize its land and earn revenue. Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Sipahjar MLA Paramananda Rajbangshi and former MLA Gurujyoti Das alongwith district administration officials accompanied the Chief Minister during the visit.