Agartala, January 06, 2019
Since 1950, barely three years after Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) College, the first realized concept of Maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya’s ‘Vidyapattan’ project, grabbing land from the proposed education hub complex had begun.
Ironically though, many of those who infused new thoughts in state politics at the time started grabbing the royal land donated for educational hub.
Seven decades after ‘Vidyapattan’ started, houses, offices, clubs and other structures can be seen scattered around the entire project complex. A social club claims to own a whole plot of land alongwith a pond, all of which ideally is property of ‘Vidyapattan’. At least six leaders and social workers have their houses on these encroached land.
Political minders say the erstwhile Left rulers exhibited a characteristic allergy towards royal history and their achievements. However, the current dispensation under BJP and IPFT are expected to be otherwise, especially owing to their apparent respect and recognition of the royal history.
According to the State Gazette from 1937, the kings donated 234 acre land for ‘Vidyapattan’ project where a degree college, a technical college, an agricultural science college, medical college, college of art and craft and a music college would be built. The first successful venture of the project was ‘Maharaja College’, which later came to be known as Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) College.
The then MBB College principal Late JK Choudhury lodged a complaint with the police and administration in 1952 where he mentioned land grabbing in the college complex. A letter from Chanchalcharan Guha Thakurta, on behalf of the then revenue secretary admitted the issue and said the grabbed land would be handed over to the college authorities.
Sixty seven years later, the land is yet to be freed and encroachers are yet to be removed. The royal land donated to ‘Vidyapattan’ was stolen at will during the regime of several subsequent governments led by Chief Ministers Sachindralal Singh, Sukhamay Sengupta, Sudhir Majumder and Manik Sarkar.
Many say the residential house of former MBB College principal Late Sushanta Choudhury is built on a plot which was identified as college guest house by the Maharaja himself. Former MBB College vice principal Bijoy Majumder’s name comes under the scanner as well. Bijoy Apartment, a plush structure built on a land formerly owned by the vice principal, also turns out to be a structure built on encroached land.
The apartment is now owned by elite who’s who of Agartala including former Tripura Assembly secretary Bamdeb Majumder, Dr. Basudeb Majumder, former college teacher Dr. Buddhadeb Majumder.
The list is long and seemingly As if it was not enough, the residential buildings of former Tripura (Central) University Vice Chancellor Professor Arunoday Saha and Tripura Board of Secondary Education (TBSE) president Dr. Bhabatosh Saha are also standing on land belonging to ‘Vidyapattan’.
never ending. Dr. Manik Deb, Professor Goutam Das, Tapan Banik, Dr. Bhushan Das, Dr. Priyatosh Roy Choudhury and many others are living on land encroached from ‘Vidyapattan’ project’s property.
The entire Shibnagar, Jagaharimura area is spread across royal land donated for building educational hub, which is now mostly encroached by civilians. Among others, a former Congress MLA’s residential building stands on encroached land and no one’s the wiser.
A host of other public institutions like Mahatma Gandhi Memorial School, Ishwariya Vidyalaya and social organizations like Shibnagar Modern Club, Amra Tarun Dal, Udichi Club, Vivekananda Club, Sabyasachi Club and many others have built their structures on encroached land.