GUWAHATI: Dispur has the habit of forming commissions and committees as and when an issue or problem erupts. In most of the cases, such commissions are only to fit the government’s stereotyped immediate response to issues. The State government seldom bothers if such commissions serve their purposes or not. This holds true for the previous Congress government at Dispur, so also for its BJP-led successor.
There are instances aplenty. At its fag-end tenure, the Congress government at Dispur did form two new districts – South Kamrup and East Kamrup – on February 26, 2016. There was no demand from the people of East Kamrup for a separate district, even as there was a demand from the people of South Kamrup. With the BJP coming to power at Dispur, it formed a Cabinet sub-committee to look into the matter. The government also kept the move in suspended animation till the submission of the report by the Cabinet sub-committee. Oddly enough, the Cabinet sub-committee met only once since its formation and kept the issue ‘suspended’. The two districts have neither been dissolved nor approved by the present government. Even today, a signboard at Chhaygaon, the headquarters of the new district, reads ‘South Kamrup DC Office’.
The moot point is: why does Dispur opt for keeping such issues lingering? If it sees that the move taken by its predecessor is wrong, it has reasons to cancel the declaration of the two districts. As it was the case earlier, while South Kamrup has been attached to Kamrup district, East Kamrup has been attached to Kamrup (M).
Another instance that makes people rack their brains is formation of 24 new sub-divisions in the State. The issue was very much prominent during the past Congress regime in the State. The previous government did form a number of committees for that issue. Other than burning a hole in the State exchequer, no tangible outcome of the committees was seen. Following its predecessor’s footsteps, the present government at Dispur also formed a committee on this issue in 2016, as if, only to keep the issue dormant. No report of the committee is forthcoming.
In yet another instance, a Cabinet sub-committee was formed to look into the issue of inclusion of Mising, Tiwa and Rabha autonomous councils in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The committee is yet to hold any sitting on the issue.
There was a ruckus in the State regarding the quality of bulletproof jackets being used by the State police force last year. Additional Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna did submit his inquiry report around six months back, but the people of the State are still in dark as to what action has been taken based on the report.
The past Congress government formed around 22 inquiry commissions or committees that failed to do anything tangible other than spending government funds. The present government is also on the spree of forming commissions and committees only to keep issues dormant, besides spending funds. What purposes do such committees serve? In most of the cases, many committees keep on extending their terms, leading to time and cost overruns. Why doesn’t Dispur make submission of reports by such committees time-bound?
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