Constituted by Gauhati HC two years back, high-powered panel on protecting Bordowa thaan yet to meet
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, June 26: Two years back, the Gauhati High Court had formed a ten-member high-powered committee to look into various issues of Bordowa Thaan, including its development, protection and problems of encroachment. The committee, headed by the State’s chief secretary and comprising among others the DC of gaon as its convenor, has not even held a single sitting so far.
As successive governments turned their backs to the plight of Srimanta Sankardeva’s birthplace, the maging committee of the revered xatra is pinning hopes on the new government to bail it out of the prolonged quagmire.
General secretary of the Bordowa Thaan Maging Committee Brajen Kakoti said the xatra origilly had 300 bighas of land.
“There are encroachments in two sections. At Santijan, where there were 44 bighas, 22 bighas have been usurped by local traders. At the Akashiganga Podumoni section, twelve families had encroached upon 20 bighas of land. After repeated pursuance, nine families relocated themselves, but the other three families have stayed put. All the encroachers are from the religious minority community,” Kakoti told The Sentinel.
The maging committee had sent several representations to the previous government. “But it appeared that the Congress government lacked the will to do anything. It may be due to vote blank politics. We can’t say if they actually got any votes out of it,” Kakoti maintained.
Kakoti said whenever former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was told about the problem of encroachment, he used to plead ignorance.
“Even the Governor, when told about the High Court constituted committee, expressed surprise at the fact that it has not had a single sitting so far,” Kakoti, also a member of the HC-constituted committee, said.
There are some 25 salaried employees at the xatra. The yearly expenditure of the xatra, including salaries, maintence, electricity bills etc, comes to around Rs 50 lakh, but not a single penny is contributed by the State government.
The xatra maging committee has to dole out Rs 10-12 lakh to organize the annual five-day Dol Utsav.
“We have to mage everything from the contributions of devotees. Three years back, the State government released Rs 11 lakh to build a wall. That was the last time the xatra received anything from the government,” Kakoti said.
There were several petitions sent to the government in the past seeking measures for protection, but all fell on deaf ears.
The government runs a museum at the xatra premises, but that too is in dire straits due to lack of maintence.
Kakoti also rued that though the government has instituted a tiol award in the me of the great Vaishvite saint, the maging committee of the xatra has never been invited for the award giving function. “We had even requested the former Chief Minister to organize the award-giving function at the xatra, but he dismissed the proposition citing communication bottlenecks,” Kakoti said.
“People of Assam can’t think of anything without Sankardeva and Madhavdeva. We owe them whatever we are today. If we can’t even protect their birthplace, nothing could be more unfortute,” Kakoti added.