By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, January 16: Development along the border areas is simply non–happening in Assam. The reason? Not dearth of funds, but failure on the part of Dispur to use Border Area Development Pragramme (BADP) funds that keep coming from the Centre every year.
Central funds for Border Area Development Projects keep coming to the state in the form of funds for development of border infrastructure like roads, electrification, drinking water facilities, education and the like in every fiscal. Dispur, however, continues to fall short of using the funds fully, and this lays bare its inefficiency in fincial magement.
According to official sources, in fiscal 2011–12, the total allocation of BADP funds to the state was Rs 1980.1 lakh and the entire amount was released. The state government, however, could use only Rs 1605.50 lakh of the amount. In fiscal 2012–13, the amount allocated was Rs 1032.74 lakh and the entire amount was released. Dispur, however, could use only Rs 566.49 lakh. In fiscal 2013–14 no BADP fund came. In the current fiscal, a whopping Rs 3480 lakh was allocated and of this Rs 1250.92 lakh have already been released. It is a matter to be watched if Dispur can use the entire amount allocated. So far, no utilization certificate has been submitted by Dispur.
Now a question that keeps every right–thinking people in the state thinking is: Why does not Dispur use the entire amount of funds allocated for border area development in the state? Are the border areas of Assam well developed?
The ground reality is such that, in the border areas in Sonitpur district bordering Aruchal Pradesh, NDFB(S) militants have been very active because the border area lack road connectivity, not to speak of facilities for education, health, potable water etc. In the event of any untoward incidents in such areas, the police can never reach on time and that allows militants and miscreants make their good escape. At Behali along the Aruchal Pradesh border, when people from the neighbouring state attacked residents of Assam the police could reach the area much later, when everything was done.
During the attack on Adivasis by ga miscreants at Romanbasti in Golaghat district last year, the police staying there had to flee as additiol forces could not reach on time to back them up due to lack of proper connectivity.