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May 18, 2011

Expectations of Barak people from resurgent Tarun Gogoi government

SILCHAR, May 17: The massive mandate gained by Congress led by Tarun Gogoi who is to be sworn as Chief Minister today for the third consecutive term, a record of sort in the political history of Assam, has raised hopes and expectations amongthe people of Barak Valley about giving a new direction and dimensionto the development process which hasvirtually come to a standstill. Rising above politics, there has been a consensus on the most glaring truth that the MPs, MLAs and the ministers from the valley have failed to represent the burning issues and problems properly in the Parliament and the Assembly for their resolution.
It was late Bimolangshu Roy, two timeMLA of Silchar, who first floated the concept of joint forum of all the people's representatives for concertedand coordinated lobby in the corridors of power at Delhi and Dispurto pace up development of the three districts and to ensure flow of funds against schemes and projects, their fair utilization and proper implementation.
Unfortunately the forum failed to work due to lukewarm response from MPs, MLAs and ministers and ultimately fizzled out. A dejected Roy went on record to say, "the forum would have played a crucial role and set a precedent for the entire state". Its fate was in no way different from the Forum of Northeast MPs floated byPA Sangma, MP and former Lok Sabha Speaker. He justified such forum to create a 'pressure lobby' in Delhi for focused attention on Northeast in general and its development.
It matters little for the people of this valley who voted for Congress and gave in its kitty 13 seats of a total of 15 whether the existing ministers are retrained or dropped. All that they expect is definite action plan from theState Government to take up the half done jobs. On the wish lists are improvement of roads and highways, alternative surface route to Guwahati via Harangajao-Nellie, creating necessary pressure on the Centre for completion of Silchar-Lumding BG andSilchar-Saurashtra Mahasadak.
People of this town in particular would also like to see the Rs 158 crorestorm drainage project abandoned byNBCC is taken up in right earnest. The mainstay of economy of the region tea industry needs all boost up and better infrastructure of connectivity and power. State run major and minor industries closed or on the verge of closure due to mismanagement and ill planning are to be resurrected. Revival of Cachar Sugar Mill, Badarpur Textiles Industry and Lakhipur Pineapple Plant should be explored. Cachar Paper Mill under Hindustan Paper Corporation plagued by problems of raw materials calls for serious attention to keep it on the steam.
The Chief Minister while laying the foundation stone of Silchar by pass just before elections did promise of Rs 1,000 crore package for Barak Valley if Congress could win all the 15 seats. Now that people have responded to his call by offering 13 seats, it is the hope that the Chief Minister would focus his attention in particular on Barak Valley and take up time bound action plan for its integrated development. The problem of chronic load shedding and long bouts of power cuts need special attention without which no development is possible. Even Himanta Biswa Sarma, Health Minister, promised Rs 100 crorepackage for Borkhola alone if Rumi Nath won. (SentinelAssam)

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