Dibrugarh, Dec 14: The green belt of tea gardens within the district should not be converted to any other use but kept intact as it is regarded as the lungs of Dibrugarh. This was stated in the recently submitted memorandum to Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal by the members of Policy Group for People’s Rights (PGPR), Dibrugarh.
A team of PGPR delegation headed by its president Dr Aradha Kataki, had recently called upon CM Sonowal at his office at Assam Secretariat, Dispur, wherein they discussed a wide range of issues relating to the development of Assam and the whole of the Northeast in general and Dibrugarh in particular. The PGPR members in their meeting with the Chief Minister, forwarded a few suggestions regarding the development of the riverfront in Dibrugarh, restoration and conservation of the Dr. John Berry White School building, improvement of intra-district road communication and the need for setting up a centrally funded state-of-the-art research and development centre in Dibrugarh to exploit the potential for drug research though the rich biodiversity of the region.
Moreover, CM Sonowal was further apprised on the fact that irrespective of the existing provisions for illumition of the dyke in Dibrugarh and re-plantation of tress in the project, regretfully the dyke was not lighted up and trees also had not been planted till date, the delegation stated.
The ideas and proposals placed before the Chief Minister were endorsed by eminent citizens like Dr gen Saikia, Vice-Chancellor of Dibrugarh University (DU) Prof. Alak Kumar Buragohain, president of the Eastern Assam Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Bhudev Phukan and die-hard social activist Jnendu (Ratan) Saikia.
The PGPR members also pointed out that the development of the river front in Dibrugarh would open up exciting possibilities as a tourist attraction, thereby helping in employment and revenue generation in the district. The delegation even urged upon the Chief Minister to approve and sanction a project that was sustaible and cost effective and compatible with the character of the Brahmaputra and where greenery was given preference so that the town could be compensated for the diminished green belt. The delegation expressed the hope that anti-erosion measures would be combined with beautification of the riverfront.
The delegation appealed to the Chief Minister to take up the project of restoration and preservation of the Dr John Berry White building at an early date and urged that post restoration, the building should be used as a museum and an archive of Dibrugarh town which reflects and preserves the glorious history of Dibrugarh, apart from being a memorial to the great philanthropist and pioneer of medical education and infrastructure and industrial development in Assam, Dr John Berry White.
The other important issues which were placed before Sonowal are need for dredging the Brahmaputra, developing tiol Waterway 2 and starting water transport facilities, addressing the perennial problems of Dibrugarh like severe water logging and taking a policy decision on freezing road levels, improvement of infrastructure in Dibrugarh, including the establishment of a state-of-the-art auditorium and indoor sports facility in Dibrugarh, preserving heritage sites and improving Jokai Botanical Garden. The PGPR delegation requested the Chief Minister to initiate early measures for improving the intra and inter-state road communication and internet connectivity (fiber optic internet connection), preservation of historical and tural heritage sites of Assam and to set up a hospitality training institute in Assam. They even expressed their happiness on the fact that the need for a greater push to develop the tourism industry in Assam had already been underscored by the Assam Government, in a press release stated the president of PGPR, Dr Aradha Kataki.