By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, January 27: During his Republic Day speech at Khapara in Guwahati on January 26, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi painted a rosy picture of the achievements of his government on many fronts like fince, education, health and family welfare, PWD, transport, agriculture, industry, power, panchayat and rural development, flood and erosion, drinking water and sanitation, immigration and NRC update, food and civil supplies, forest, etc., even as the situation on the ground is something different.
On fince, Gogoi said: “In 2000–01, the GSDP was 1.51 per cent, but in 2013–14 it rose to 5.87 per cent. As per the 6th Economic Census, Assam achieved first position in creating employment and employment generating establishments and has shown the fastest growth in the non–agricultural and the non–governmental employment sectors."
On education, Gogoi said: “The percentage of children in the age group of 6 to 14 in schools has gone up to 98 per cent, while the percentage of out–of–school children has decreased from 24.39 per cent in 2002–03 to 1.50 per cent in 2013–14. As many as 52,748 elementary school teachers were appointed under SSA through Teachers’ Eligibility Tests (TET) during the past three years, besides provincializining the services of 45,000 working teachers in venture schools.”
On health and family welfare the Chief Minister made mentioned of fall in materl mortality rate and infant mortality rate, setting up of new 200–bed hospitals costing Rs 50 crore and a 375–bed super speciality hospital building costing Rs 127 crore at the GMCH. The Chief Minister, however, stop short of making any mention of the darker side in the department like patients under treatment in government hospitals still buying medicines on their own etc.
On PWD Gogoi claimed to have constructed 23,000 km roads and 3,700 RCC dridges from 2001 to 2014. The also said that a road safety authority is being constituted in the state.
Gogoi said: “Under Assam Vikash Yoja, 119 new buses being procured during 2014–15, while 400 other buses have been ordered under JnNURM for operation in Guwahati City under the Assam State Urban Transport Corporation.”
What is baffling is that Gogoi claimed that Assam is the 8th largest rice–producing state and achieved surplus production since 2010–2011. The ground reality, however, is such that the state farmers have to sell their produces at throwaway prices as the neither state Agriculture Marketing Board not FCI is procuring Assam paddy in bulk. The condition of vegetable growers is even pathetic as they have to sell perishable items like tomato, cabbage etc., even at 50 paise a kg at Barpeta Road wholesale market. The farmers have to incur a heavy loss as the state government failed to provide adequate number of cold storage facilities to them.
Keeping mum of the erratic power supply in the state, the Chief Minister claimed to have electrified 8,294 new villages and giving electricity connections to 12 lakh BPL families till December 2014.
The Chief Minister said that under the MGNREGA, 41.67 lakh job cards were given and 140.44 lakh mandays were created till December 2014. However, there have been allegations of rampant corruption in the department, including charges against the former P&RD Minister taking commissions from various centrally–sponsored schemes and projects.
Gogoi assured the gathering that Under tiol Food Security Act, 2013, the government would provide food grains at heavily subsidized rates to two–thirds of the population. With the Assam Assembly elections round the corner, there is every likelihood of the Chief Minister meeting this assurance.
Gogoi assured the gathering that the updated NRC would be published in January 2016.
Silent on the rampant killing of rhino in the state, the Chief Minister said that rhino and tiger population increased in the state.