GUWAHATI: In a significant step towards development, the Assam cabinet on Saturday nodded to Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024 to prohibit ‘magical healing’ in the state.
According to the bill, any individual convicted of engaging in the illegal act under the guise of treatment or magical healing shall be punished with imprisonment and be subjected to fines.
The proposed bill aims to prohibit and eradicate the practices of magical healing purported as treatment for certain congenital conditions such as deafness, dumbness, blindness, physical deformities, autism and others.
The bill will enforce complete ban on such healing sessions and implement strong punitive measures against the ‘healers’ exploiting the poor and downtrodden people under the pretext of treatment.
Additionally, the Cabinet had decided to enact alterations in the municipal frameworks, choosing 10 cities or towns for a program on sustainable development. A state-level steering committee will also be set up to monitor the execution of the concept.
The hey elements under it will include solid waste management, clean potable water supply, traffic management, urban planning and manpower rationalization and capacity building.
Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, and seven other cities will lead as exemplars for other urban local bodies, ensuring comprehensive urban development strategies.
The Cabinet has also approved the Village Defense Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, as well as amendments to the Assam Municipal Act, 1965. These measures aim to clarify the roles and duties of various municipal cadres, enhancing efficiency in urban governance.
Furthermore, the state cabinet also nodded for the establishment of a Wildlife Safari and Rescue Centre within the Namdanf Reserved Forest, under the jurisdiction of the Dibrugarh Forest Division.
This centre is slated to be built at an estimated cost of Rs 259 crore and will become a major tourist attraction. It will be featured with international-standard of safaris of herbivores, carnivores, and bird aviaries; walking trails and other attractions.