Guwahati, Wednesday, March 21, 2012
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NE MPs raise influx, Brahmaputra issues
Spl Correspondent
 NEW DELHI, March 20 – China’s bid to divert Brahmaputra river, unabated infiltration from across the border and the recent land transfer agreement with Bangladesh have been slammed by the MPs of the North-east.

 Participating in the ongoing debate on the President’s Address, MPs particularly from Assam in both the Houses of the Parliament, flagged issues that were left out in the address. Several MPs from the North-east including Biren Baishya, Bijoya Chakravarty, Ramen Deka, Kabindra Purkayastha, Kumar Deepak Das, Biswajeet Daimary, Badruddin Ajmal and Joseph Toppo, among others, participated in the debate that concluded today.

Stating that they want better and peaceful relations with neighbouring countries, Baishya, who is also the general secretary of North East MPs’ Forum said the Presidential Address forgot to mention two major issues faced by the North-Eastern Region regarding China. Diversion of Brahmaputra river is a serious issue, but the President is totally silent about it. “It means our Government has not spoken anything about this issue,” he concluded.

In the Lok Sabha, BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty participating in the debate said that China is knocking at the border of North-eastern region, Arunachal Pradesh and other parts also. “China has constructed good roads and airstrip on border but we lack such facilities in Arunachal Pradesh, which is a cause of concern,” she said.

Infiltration is still going unabated. Border forces and CRPF are not in a position to control infiltration of Bangladeshis, the BJP MP alleged.

Claiming that corruption is prevailing in Assam, Chakravarty mentioned that recently 148 MoUs pertaining to power projects were signed, out of which 120 projects were awarded to private players.

Hospitals are facing shortage of doctors and medicines in the State as the funds allocated under NRHM for Assam have been utilised for procurement of bamboos. Living condition of urban poor is quite pathetic in Assam. Harijans, who used to engage in solid waste management work, have been rendered jobless, as State Government has allotted work to big private contractors, it was alleged.

Underlining the need to focus on agriculture sector in Assam, Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF), said agriculture growth of Assam is not up to the mark.

The dams being constructed on Siang river are not suitable and will harm the environment and lives of the people of Assam. The Central Government should stop the construction of the big dams.

Flood and erosion are the most inevitable natural calamities that the people of Assam are affected by. On an average 8,000 hectares of land is eroded in Assam every year due to flood, he said.

Participating in the debate, Joseph Toppo (AGP) said that in the address, no attention has been paid to the economic and social development of the majority of the backward and tribal people living in the north eastern region.

Speaking on the issue in the Lok Sabha, Kabindra Purkayastha (BJP) alleged the main hurdle in completion of the gauge conversion project is the transport lobby and lack of co-ordination between the State and the Central Governments. The broad gauge conversion from Lumding to Silchar and super express highway from Silchar to West Bengal border, are declared national projects, he mentioned.

Participating in the debate, Kumar Deepak Das lamented that till date, no solution has been found to resolve flood and erosion. At least 44 rivers in the Brahmaputra Valley and 11 rivers in the Barrak Valley pose threat and 41,813 families have been rendered homeless due to erosion.

Participating in the discussion in Rajya Sabha, Biswajeet Daimary said despite claims of normalcy returning to the North-east, the law-and-order situation has not improved because the groups that had launched movements are still waiting for solution to their problems.

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