Assam

  • Oil pipeline leakage

    NAZIRA,Feb12

  • Agro sector of the North East (Editorial)

    Since the economy of the North East is basically agro-based, the primary reason for its poverty is agricultural backwardness. The very fact that the region has to look after 3.8 per cent of India's population with only 2.7 per cent of national income earned by its economy shows what poverty-distance it has to meet in order to catch up with the rest of the country. The region's per capita income-distance from all-India average has increased from Rs 1,706 in 1993-94 to Rs 7,000 in 2005-06.

  • State lifts ban on poultry imports

    The State Government has lifted the ban on the import of poultry and poultry products from the rest of the country, barring West Bengal. The Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Commissioner and Secretary Shyam Lal Mewara signed the order to this effect yesterday. The State Government imposed the ban on the import of poultry and poultry products from the rest of the country through two orders on January 18 and 22 last, following outbreak of the dreaded bird flu in West Bengal and its spread to some of the North Indian states.

  • Forest cover loss in NE alarming

    Notwithstanding tall claims by the north-eastern States, the region has recorded huge losses of forest cover, with the Forest Commission calling for an end to nexus between politician, bureaucrat and contractor in Assam and three other States. If the nexus between politician, bureaucrat and contractor goes on developing, as is the case in Assam, Uttaranchal, Himachal and Kashmir, then any attempt of development will be diminished and then the exploited tribal people will try to take revenge, the Commission warned.

  • Landless farmers vs industrial workers

    Land Policy Is the Asom Government violating its own land policy resolutions by taking up a policy of giving settlement of Government khas agricultural and ceiling surplus lands to the industrial workers ignoring the interest of the indigenous people of the State? By our Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Feb 21: This question has been raised by the Purbanchal Nagarik Samity (PNS), an apex body of various citizens' fora of upper Asom. The PNS is of the view that such a calculated step on the part of the State Government to deprive the indigenous agricultural workers has been motivated by its desire to appease the tea garden workers so as to get their support. Even though Asom has 69 lakh acres of agricultural land and 1.35 lakh acres of ceiling surplus land acquired till 1975, about 2.29 lakh agrarian families are completely landless and homeless, while 1.8 lakh families are with less than eight bighas of land and 2.86 lakh families are with less than five bighas of land till September, 1969. This was stated in the resolution of the Government Land Policy, 1972 published on July 21, 1972. According to the citizens' bodies, the State Government itself admitted in its policy paper in 1975 that the problem of landless cultivators was increasing day by day, while in the Government Land Policy of 1989 the Government lamented that during the last 16 years land settlement could not be given to genuine beneficiaries. Thus the Government has recommended for settlement of ceiling surplus lands to agriculturists expeditiously, they pointed out. "Although the State Government, in its 1989 Land Policy, banned the transfer of agricultural lands to non-agriculturists and industries, the Government itself has with impunity been violating its own land policy resolutions and taken up a policy of allotting Government khas agricultural and ceiling surplus lands to the industrial labourers since 2001,' the PNS resolution said. It also said that to expedite such settlement of land, the Government had also formed high-power committees in each district in March, 2007. "However, the poor indigenous agriculturists are left at the mercy of God even during calamities, with more than two lakh families being landless and homeless, and their number increasing every passing day,' said the resolution adopted at a meeting of the PNS in Dibrugarh. Though the land policy of 1968 itself declared a ban on transfer of agricultural lands to non-agriculturists, which was also repeated in the Land Policy Document of 1972, the Government officials have started issuing circulars to allot land to ex-tea garden workers, said Ajoy Baruah, joint secretary of the PNS and general secretary of the Dibrugarh Nagarik Sangha, while talking to The Sentinel. In this regard, Baruah pointed out the land policy adopted by the State Government in 1989 (published in the Assam Gazette on August 23, 1989), where it has been clearly stated: "All allotment of land for ordinary cultivation will be made with the indigenous landless cultivators, that is the persons who actually cultivate the land themselves.' The PNS further said the industrial labourers, who are neither contributors nor beneficiaries, and not residents of revenue villages, have been injudiciously included in the Panchayati Raj system. The PNS is of the opinion that such a step has further complicated the very concept of the Panchayati Raj. The apex body of the upper Asom citizens' fora, in an initiative to mobilize public opinion against the alleged injudicious policy adopted by the State Government, has taken a move to hold a State-level convention in association with the Asom Jatiya Mahasabha and the Senior Citizens' Council of Guwahati.

  • Call for prompt steps to protect rhinos

    Following the repeated killing of rhinos at the world heritage site Kaziranga, the AASU organised a citizens' meet on the premises of Kaziranga Convention Centre on Sunday. The meet was chaired by Jatin Bora, the vice-president of AASU and was attended by over a thousand people. In the meeting AASU adviser Dr Sammujjal Bhattacharyya opined that the State government must save Kaziranga by any means. Taking part in the meet, Saumayadeep Dutta of Natures Beckon said that the Forest department authorities were not up to their task in regard to protection of the fauna. On the other hand, several speakers urged for quick action to save Kaziranga. The other speakers were Arup Kr Dutta, Dr Umesh Deka, Dr Biren Barthakur, Arun Goswami, Nava Thakuria, AASU general secretary Tapan Kr Gohain etc. The speakers urged the Forest department to take immediate action to save the rhinos.

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