By Lanuna – The government of Chin State has vowed to take action against people who have moved into an area slated for development in the state capital Hakha, saying the project can’t go ahead as long as unauthorized construction continues there.
“We can’t start this project with them living there. We can take action against these people using municipal law, general administration law, and the VFV [Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands Management] law,” said Soe Htet, the state’s minister of municipal affairs, electricity and industry.
According to Soe Htet, there were only eight houses in the area when the new project began, but now that number has shot up to 135, most built without permission from the municipal authorities.
The project area is located near a golf course on the Hakha-Thangtlang Road.
“We have already warned them three times. We don’t know where they came from, but we won’t accept any construction in the project area,” he told Khonumthung News.
“They are buying and selling plots of land and building whatever they like on them. We won’t accept it. We don’t want to have to tear down their houses. That’s why we’ve warned them to leave. They are being completely greedy,” he added.
According to the Chin Farmers’ Association, however, the land was confiscated from local farmers using the controversial VFV land law. The farmers insist they are the rightful owners of the land.
“We are not interlopers here. We are the owners of these plots of land. These are our inherited lands,” said Hrang Kil of the Chin Farmers’ Association.
The state government says the owners of the newly built houses have until next month to relocate. But those currently living there continue to refuse to leave.
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