Finally AMU Kishanganj allotted with single plot of 224 acres

By Mohammad Mudassir Alam,

Patna: Under mounting pressure from AMU Centre Kishanganj activists and opposition parties, the Nitish Kumar led Bihar Government on Tuesday sanctioned allotment of 224.02 acres contiguous piece of land for the proposed Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) Centre in Kishanganj. The decision was taken in the state cabinet meeting headed by Chief Minister in Patna. Bihar HRD Minister a couple of days back, in his statement had already made declaration regarding the presentation of a new proposal, in the state cabinet meeting scheduled on November 22, 2011.

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Press Release of Bihar State Cabinet says, “Patna, November 22, 2011- In an important decision taken in state cabinet meeting, the earlier released Letter No – 242 (6), dated 05.03.2011 by Land and Revenue Department is being cancelled. And 116.53 acres land is provided at Chakla Mauja, P.S No – 28, Khata No: 384 and 107.49 acres land at Govindpur Mauja, P.S No – 61, Khata No: 40 or total 224.02 acres (Two hundred twenty four acres and two decimal) land is offered to Aligarh Muslim University to open a campus in the state of Bihar is transferred free of cost to Human Resource Department for further handing over to AMU authorities permanently at a token grant of Rs one. The land transfer would be valid only for the use of AMU Study Centre and its curriculum.”

Media Chief Secretary Navin Kumar told Media reporters, that the government have sanctioned allotment of land for the opening of AMU study centre in Kishanganj district of Bihar. A single plot of 224.02 acres of land was acquired by the district administration near Kishanganj district headquarters at Chakla and Govindpur villages, said Kumar. The Land and Revenue department would soon formally transfer the plot to the state Human Resource Department (HRD) which in turn, will hand over the land to AMU administration for starting construction work, mentioned the Chief Secretary.

Earlier, the AMU authorities had refused to set up the university’s mega study centre in Kishanganj on the ground that the plot acquired for the purpose by the state was in three separate parts with illegal encroachment done by tribals in between. The AMU VC along with his team visited Kishanganj twice on May 22, 2010 and July 11, 2011 to select the suitable land for the proposed university campus in Kishanganj. However, the Bihar Government failed to provide the land as per the university norms.

Due to unprecedented delay made by the Bihar Government, the Delhi based AMU Centre Coordination Committee had organized a ‘National Conference on AMU Centre’ at Indian Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi on September 30, 2011. The conference was attended by civil society, journalists, activists, politicians and common people belonging to Bihar and other parts of the country. Most of the speakers slammed Bihar Government for playing politics in the name of AMU Centre under the influence of its coalition parties.

Further, common people of Seemanchal area had staged a mega dharna on October 12, 2011 in Kishanganj district headquarters, which was headed by leaders of opposition parties belonging to Congress, LJP, RJD and NCP. The protestors blocked the road and railway tracks at Kishanganj accusing the state government of its failure in acquiring 250 acres contiguous plot to the AMU centre, due to which the construction works of the study centre are delayed. During the dharna, the Purnia Division Commissioner Brajesh Mishra came up to talk with the representatives, on behalf of Bihar Government and he ensured them, that the issue will be resolved within 45 days.

The decision of Bihar Government to allot 224.02 acres for AMU Study Centre is welcomed by all including AMU activists. Of course, Nitish Kumar and his government deserve plaudits for its prompt action to acquire the land in the outskirts of Kishanganj town. However, some mistakes are again repeated by the Bihar Government in the new proposal of 224.02 acres. The offered land is about 26 acres less than the actual demand of 250 – 300 acres contiguous land. Next, the new land is far from the main road (Bahadurganj – Kishanganj road) and the new proposal doesn’t have any mention about 30 metre wide road connectivity to the main road.

The decision by the Bihar Government to allot 224.02 acres has been widely welcomed by all including AMU activists. They said the Nitish led government deserve plaudits for its prompt action to acquire the land in the outskirts of Kishanganj town. However they expressed their feelings for not completely allotting with the actual demand of 250 – 300 acres of contiguous land. Besides the land is at a notable distance from the main road [Bahadurganj – Kishanganj road]; the new proposal hasn’t mentioned anything about the demand of 30 metre wide road connectivity to this main road.