SILCHAR, Jan 18: Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, has offered as new year gifts three more subdivisions of Patharkandi, Ramkrish gar and Katigorah in Barak Valley for which public agitation has been going on for a long time. Their justification has been for decentralization of administration and facilitating the availability of utility services without any consumption of time and making it affordable. The first subdivision to come up in this valley was Lakhipur which was announced through a declaration by the then Chief Minister Hiteswar Saikia 22 years ago.
Even after the lapse of such a long period, Lakhipur is yet to become a full-fledged subdivision. It appears that the declaration of subdivisions is more like lollipops in view of the coming Assembly elections. As the state government has remained totally indifferent to take any move on the subdivision, the people have to form Greater Lakhipur Action Forum (GLAF) to launch and intensify their agitation. Not long ago, hundreds of people from all walks of life of the area joined a rally and went round the town with posters and banners, highlighting the various aspects of their demand and submitted a memorandum to the then Sub Divisiol Officer (Civil) barun Bhattacharjee. The Forum even submitted a memorandum to the present Chief Minister, seeking his intervention.
According to the Forum, no serious and concrete steps have been taken to upgrade Lakhipur as a full-fledged subdivision. The saddest part is that till date necessary components of a subdivision are yet to be built up. Construction of related offices, court, treasury, jail, civil hospital and other essential wings are caught in logjam. The then late Cabinet minister, Dinesh Prasad Goala, of the state elected from Lakhipur constituency and who was MLA for long 7 consecutive terms never gave any importance to the mass demand. He was squarely blamed for all the mess and obstruction.
It is also relevant to recall that Dinesh Prasad Goala was blamed for shifting the locations of the administrative offices and other wings to his tive place of Pailapool. Significantly, instead of being located in the heart of the subdivision, offices of the mahukuma parishad, PHE, administrative unit, block elementary office have been set up in the area of the MLA. In near future, other offices which will come up like treasury, court, hospital, civil and security blocks will also be taken out of the Lakhipur municipality areas. The Forum has strongly condemned the surreptitious move of the then representative.
The forum has always been pressing for setting up of all the offices and building up infrastructure in Lakhipur town and to block the shifting of offices to Pailapool. It is also pitiable that the roads and bridges in the rural areas remain in a state of neglect. No move is visible to implement the various schemes which include construction of roads and bridges under various schemes, implementation of urban water supply scheme, storm water draige scheme, inter–state shipping operation in Barak river with Lakhipur as a port.
Most important, in view of general complaints about the utilization of development funds sanctioned from time to time for the implementation of schemes and projects by the Central Government, it is also necessary to make available necessary information in this regard through the official website. The question turally arises about the justification behind the declaration of three more subdivisions in Barak Valley, when the 22 years ago declared Lakhipur subdivision is yet to attain the status of a full-fledged subdivision.