Farmers Protest Chin State Govt’s City Plan in Hakha

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By Larnun – Around 500 farmers recently staged a demonstration in Hakha, Chin State, citing a lack of transparency in city planning.

The farmers protested at the Htantlang road junction in Hakha Myothit ward last Friday.

Za Talam, an advisor to the local farmers’ association, said that the government had not negotiated its land use projects with landowners before going ahead with the city plan.

“The implementation is not in line with laws. There is no rule of law either. There is a lot of corruption in the Chin State government. That’s why we staged a protest,” she said.

Za Talam told Khonumthung News that officers in the government’s land department did not issue land ownership grants to the “real owners” and sold it. They proceeded to start the construction of a road on the farmers’ land.

Government representatives said that they have held negotiations with farmers and that they have held off on starting their development projects, since the master plan is currently being drafted. “This project is actually for local people, who migrate to the city to better their education and health care,” said U Soe Htet, a Chin State government spokesperson and municipal minister. “We repeatedly discussed with [the farmers]. We haven’t gotten a final solution. We already told them we would try not to make our farmers suffer. They are not satisfied with this and have taken up a protest. Well, they can take up a protest because this is a democratic country,” he added.

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