GUWAHATI, July 16 - The Guwahati Senior Citizens’ Association (GSCA) has sharply criticised the decision of the State government in aligning with the decision of the Centre, to put on auction 12 oilfields of Assam without ascertaining the public opinion in the State about the acceptability of the action in the interest of the State.
The association also said that the expert committee decision to locate the proposed AIIMS at Changsari should have been preceded by generation of enlightened public opinion in respect of the site for the all-India healthcare institute.
A meeting held under the presidentship of DN Chakravartty today formed an expert committee comprising eminent specialists in the field of oil such as former ONGC Chairman Bikash Bora, former OIL CMD Nayanmoni Bora, former CMD of NRL Deepak Chakravartty, former Chief Geologist of OIL DR Krishnangu Gohain and former State Chief Secretary Haren Das to give their expert opinion before August 15 to enable the government to take an informed decision.
The meeting, by another resolution, suggested that an expert committee be constituted with Dr Amrit Baruah, former chief of the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, Shillong; Dr Ramesh Deka, former Director of AIIMS, Delhi; Dr Faruk Ahmed and Dr Rohini Kumar Baruah to give an expert opinion regarding the location of the proposed AIIMS either at Changsari or at Raha.
The association also suggested that a white paper be brought out stating clearly the stand of the State government in respect of enhancement of VAT, location of AIIMS and auctioning of oilfields.
Participating in the discussion, Dr Devdas Bharali, Dr Jogendra Nath, Surendra Kumar Baruah, Khanindra Chandra Das, Konika Bardoloi, Nilakanta Nath and Ajit Barkakati said that the State government should not take a decision which might lead to a colossal loss to the State by way of exploitation of its oil wealth and it should also avoid any hasty decision in respect of location of a top healthcare facility.
All the speakers urged the State government to strengthen the enforcement machinery in order to prevent unscrupulous traders from exploiting the consumers. They suggested the strengthening of the marketing machinery of the agriculture department and also the Agricultural Marketing Board in order to make available agricultural commodities to the masses at reasonable prices.
The association further suggested that the agriculture department provide a chain of vehicles to carry agricultural commodities from the production centres to different markets. It should also control the activities of the middlemen and eliminate all elements indulging in unlawful activities at checkgates, it observed.
Earlier, Dr Pratap Chandra Sarma gave a lecture on forensic medicine and science.
The meeting condoled the deaths of Dr Dilip Kakati, Sailen Medhi and Nurul Haque.