Problems of Hill Tribes Council articulated

SILCHAR, Dec 18: Barak Valley Hill Tribes Development Council formed in 1996 and based at Fulertal in the Lakhipur subdivision of Cachar has been facing plethora of problems, frustrating the very objective behind its constitution for the welfare and well being of tribals of the valley. Ngur Sungthang, chairman of the Council, in a memorandum submitted to Longki Phangchu, Commissioner and Secretary of the Department of WPT and BC, Government of Assam, today articulated the problems in running the administration faced by him.
Sunthang pointed out that without the provision of 6th schedule of the constitution, the creation and formation of this Council has become meaningless as it puts embargo on the facilities admissible to the hill tribes communities. Though 15 years have gone by since the creation of the Council, the fate of poor hill tribes communities has not changed for the better. This has created unrest among the different ethnic groups.
In order to bring around socio-economic, cultural and educational development of the tribes, Sungthang has demanded upgrading of the Council with the 6th schedule provisions and granting of HT status to hill tribes communities. In the absence of scheduled tribes status, the young and educated youths are deprived of government jobs and services.
Sungthang has at the same time referred to the meagre fund released to the Council, considering the vast area of its governance. 555 villages are under the jurisdiction of the Council and the fund allotted during 2010-11 is Rs 85 lakh only which can hardly meet the requirement for causing development of the area and its people. The allotment under non-plan for the same year is Rs 35 lakh only as against Rs 50 lakh allocated during the previous year. The allotment of meagre fund, he pointed out, stands in the way of proper functioning and implementation of schemes and projects for the development of tribal people. He has demanded release of sufficient fund under plan and non-plan.
Sungthang further stated that the Council here has been created for the development of hill tribe communities of the three districts of Barak Valley. It is a matter of dismay that the Government of Assam has authorized the Tribal Sangha to issue caste and tribe certificates to both the plain and hill tribes. He has sought authorization to this Council to issue certificates to the hill tribes communities living within the jurisdiction of the Council. Warles Suchiang, vice-chairman of the Council, was also present during interaction with Longki Phangchu in the office of the Council today at Fulertal. (Source-Sentinel)

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