JORHAT: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Amar Asom (our State), amar mati (our land), amar adhikar (our right) are the guiding principles as the State Government is safeguarding jati, mati, bheti of the indigenous people with these principles,” said Chief Minister Sarbandanda Sonowal while addressing a sramik samaroh at Cinnamara Tea Estate while laying the foundation stone of a Primary Health Centre in the tea estate in Jorhat on Monday.
Chief Minister Sonowal said that since the first day of taking over power, the present State Government had been working to safeguard the rights and privileges of the people of Assam. He also said that his government had adopted land policy, particularly to protect land rights of the indigenous people of the State. Stating that he himself being a son of the soil, he would not allow his government to do anything infringing the rights of the indigenous people.
Chief Minister Sonowal also said that his government was carrying out survey of ceiling surplus land of tea garden areas just to ascertain the quantum of land to be given to the people belonging to tea tribe community. He at the same time allayed the fear generated by some vested interest groups that land survey being done by the State Government would entail selling the land to outsiders. He maintained that land which originally belonged to tea tribe community would remain with them.
Stating that health and happiness of the people of Assam were the responsibility of his government, Sonowal said that in the coming days, 15 PHCs would be set up in 15 tea gardens belonging to Assam Tea Corporation. Terming the tea tribe community as the integral part of Assam’s demography, Sonowal said that the State Government would adopt all possible means for the progress and prosperity of the tea community. He also said from New Year, all the families of tea tribe community would be entitled to 2 kg of sugar. He also said that to stimulate social, cultural, economic and educational development of the tea tribe community, his government would allot Rs 1 crore to each 800 tea gardens of Assam for construction of roads. Sonowal also said that under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, around 4,000 new houses would be built for tea garden workers.
Chief Minister Sonowal also announced that from January 1, 2020, his government would hike wage of tea garden workers under ATC from the existing Rs. 138 to 167 per day. He also said that Cinnamara TE was a very important and historic garden as the tea estate found its place in Assamese movie Chameli Memsaab for which Dr. Bhupen Hazarika received the National Award for Best Music Director. He also announced that the government would preserve the area which featured in this movie directed by Abdul Majid.
Chief Minister Sonowal also handed over allotment letters to some beneficiaries as part of allotting land pattas to tea tribe community.
State Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowory, while speaking on the occasion, gave a brief of different schemes the State Government had taken for the empowerment of the tea tribe community.
Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Rameswar Teli, while speaking on the occasion, stated about the government’s broad agenda of financial inclusion. He also said that the government’s efforts of bringing the tea tribe community into the banking system was the testimony of eagerness of the government for the welfare of tea community people.
MP Jorhat Topon Kumar Gogoi and Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa also spoke on the occasion. Chairman of ATC, Amiyo Kumar Bora, representatives of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha, Mission Director of NHM, Dr. S. Laxmanan and a host of other dignitaries were present on occasion.