Film Dialogues

Barak Vally remote areas people to serve ultimatum to SDO(C)

SILCHAR, May 5: After years ofexploitation and oppression, neglect and discrimination, thousands of people of the remote and isolated, better to say, cocooned places living in theup front of Barak river in theLakhipur sub division of Cachar, have firmed up their minds to speak out. They have decided to lay siege of the office of the sub divisional officer (civil) at Lakhipur on May 16 with the ultimatum to focus on their areas and also demand an explanation for the utilization of funds for development which never took place.
Notwithstanding the allotment of huge funds by the Centre for the implementation of various schemes and projects for thewelfare and improvement ofsocio-economic condition ofpeople of remote and far-flung areas of the region, the reality on the ground is not only appalling but also baffling, raising thequestion about their utilization. A visit across the up Barak villages in the Lakhipur sub division of Cachar, Mankhoosh, Shanbari, Narainji, Alni, Nariandahar, Bonkhal, Naraiandahar tea garden and various other hamlets comes out the story of pains and agonies of people. The areas inhabited by tribals and non-tribals belonging to schedule tribe, schedule caste, OBC, tea tribes as well as to different tribes and communities are without any basic facilities of life. Located without any means of communication from the main land of Lakhipur, the boat or launch ride is the only way to reach the isolated villages and hamlets, perched in the thickforested areas interspersed with plains and hilly patches.
No semblance of development can be visible in these areas. All that one comes across is some incomplete schemes or those which after laying of foundation have never seen the light of day. Some of them are lying abandoned in a most uncared of situation. It is a tale of deprivation and neglect. Thepeople do have gaon panchayats as well as anchalik panchayats and even block development office in the town of Lakhipur, but hardly they areconcerned with their problems. Their ignorance and illiteracy are being exploited by the leaders who masquerade themselves as their well wishers. They have no other option than to live with distress and the inevitable fate.
The elders like N Ibunabi Singh among them in identical manner bemoan that though the former influential minister, Dinesh Prasad Goala, now sitting MLA, has been representing them for the last 32 years, hehas done nothing for the development of their areas. They recall the minister visited only once in 2009 to inaugurate the Alnee PHE plant which just after supplying water for 15 days became inoperative and it has now turned into a junk. People have to depend uponriver Barak and hilly streams in order to meet their need of portable water.
In the name of electrification, the sign boards are seen hanging up in all the villages and that speak of the achievement under Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Bidyutikaran. The sign boards were put up in 2005 and they continue to tell their own sad story, complain the people. Ramesh Bagti, Dhyan Chanda Chakma and Min Paslien, gaon burah of Narayandahar Khasipunji, sum up their living conditions in these words, "we have no roads, electricity, water supply, minimum health services or schools of quality". They have come to grip with the adversity and live life, depending more on nature and its resources. Even after 67 years of independence, the areas are without any connectivity. In the event of any emergent case calling for medical care, people have to take the help of launch to reach Fulertal that connects the NH 53 and PWDroad for Silchar and Lakhipur town. During night,people have to cough up to the extent of more than Rs 1,000 for arranging a boat or launch to come to the nearest centre of treatment located around Fulertal and Pailapool.
How the state and the district administration have completely neglected these areas can well be understood from the fact that a 4 km stretch of road connecting the greatest Hmar village of Assam, Hmarkhawlein, with Shanbari, Nijalnee, Alnee and Narayanji Khasiapunji approved by PWD (rural division) in 1952 did not get any attention. It was in 2008-09 that the PWD department sent the proposal to Dispur for sanction of necessary fund, but it remained on file. Interestingly, a bridge was constructed in the Hmarkhawlein village for the said road. It is lying without any utility. Another 4 km road connecting Dilkhoosh with Narayandahar bagan through Monkhoosh and Bonkhal under NREGS was allotted Rs 5.20 lakh. For the same road, Rs 2.5 crore was sanctioned under PMGRY. But, there is no trace of any work. Nor is any explanationthere officially about the utilization of fund.
The story everywhere is the same. The scenario becomes more painful as one goes upto interior places like Dupidar, Kankhum, Makhal, Bonkokhal or Jakuradar. The people look helpless and hopeless as they have none to listen to them and redresstheir agonies. Now, they have to wake up from days of slumber and bondage and cry for their right to live like any dignified Indian citizen. (SentinelAssam)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment... Lakhipuronline