Hazela seeks Rs 372 crore additiol funds, AASU & APW welcome apex court stand
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Dec 1: The ongoing process to update the tiol Register of Citizens (NRC) in the State is likely to take longer with the Supreme Court making it clear that the NRC has to be ‘correct’, and the task to update it must be ‘accomplished as soon as possible’.
The apex court thus indicated a softening of its earlier stand of completion of the NRC update process within specified deadline.
The PIL on NRC update was heard by the apex court today. The court, however, has instructed State NRC coorditor Prateek Hajela in no uncertain terms that the infrastructure, officials and staff engaged in NRC update works should not be used for other duty by the State Government.
“Now house-to-house verification is underway. This is a time-consuming process. We need more time for completion of the draft and the fil NRC. We also need more funds to get the task well done,” Hajela submitted before the Supreme Court during the hearing today.
Earlier, the apex court had revised the deadlines to January 1, 2016 for publication of the draft NRC and March 1, 2016 for publication of the fil NRC, after the State government sought more time.
During today’s hearing, the Supreme Court seemed to have softened its stand, and said: “The NRC update work has to be completed as soon as possible.”
On the NRC coorditor seeking more funds for the NRC update work, the Supreme Court said: “The Government at the Centre will look into the matter of additiol funds.”
Earlier the Centre had released Rs 288 crore for NRC update work in Assam, and now Hajela seeks an additiol amount of Rs 372 crore for publication of the draft and the fil NRC.
Meanwhile, All Assam Students Union (AASU) leaders today said that the Supreme Court has thwarted Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s attempts to put hurdles in the NRC update process by putting officials and staff engaged for the purpose on other duties. The students union welcomed the apex court’s instruction to the State government that ‘the infrastructure, officials and staff engaged in NRC update works should not be used for any other duty’.
The AASU leaders said that around 24,000 officials and staff have been engaged in NRC update works in the State. “The Supreme Court has also instructed the NRC coorditor to directly submit the updated NRC to the Registrar General of India (RGI),” the AASU leaders said.
Meanwhile, one of the petitioners of the PIL in the Supreme Court on NRC update, Abhijit Sarma, said: “What the apex court has told Dispur is good for a correct NRC. We also don’t want the NRC to be updated in haste. We want a correct NRC, and that takes time.”
The next hearing of the PIL is on January 13, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court today accepted the report submitted to it by the India-Bangladesh Border Security Committee, which had been formed by Dispur and the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The committee submitted the report after an on-the-spot verification of the intertiol border. The committee is going to sit for its next meeting on December 4. The apex court said that the intertiol border needed to be sealed in a time-bound manner.