GUWAHATI, March 22 – Scientist and former Dibrugarh University Vice Chancellor Dr Kulendu Pathak on Saturday said that planning in Assam had so far failed to achieve the desired goal as the government had been replicating the development models in the State without assessing their relevance in the peculiarity of the ecosystem and socio-economic features of a region like Assam.
Dr Pathak, who was addressing a meeting of the Guwahati Senior Citizens’ Association, dwelt at length on the causes of Assam’s backwardness in spite of its being endowed with vast natural resources.
Analysing the rich endowment of the State, Dr Pathak said that few places in the world with equal geographical dimensions could claim so vast water resources that Assam had been blessed with. He said the fact that the infinite volume of rainwater being drained out of the State, was the worst manifestation of lopsided and wrong planning in Assam.
Again, Dr Pathak said, the fact that 95 per cent irrigation projects of the State remained defunct was another “shameful and sad” commentary on the status of the State’s planning.
Dr Pathak said that economic and general advancement – intellectual, social and physical – presupposes the identification of the quantum of resources and appropriate application of human resources to convert ordinary resources into value-added wealth. He also spoke about the brain-drain taking place in Assam and pleaded for introduction of changes in the structure of the education system inherited from the colonial rule.
Dr Pathak said it was a challenge before the thinkers and planners to rid Assam of survival or maintenance economy, and to transform it into a vibrant economy when “the weak would gain strength, illiterate get enlightened and waste resources get transformed into precious wealth.”
DN Chakravartty, who presided over the meeting, said Assam would now need a forward-thinking person like “Momai Tamuli Barbaruah who would be able to transform a lethargic community into a dynamic race and would prepare the despondent Assamese community to face bravely the coming battles of Saraighat.”
Tabiul Hussain, member in charge of administration and coordination, Krishna Kumar Lahkar, member finance, Muktananda Dutta Bardoloi, member education, and Hem Chandra Sarma, member public relations, presented their monthly reports.
Earlier, Baneswar Khound, member in charge of social service, welcomed Dr Pathak and introduced him to the audience. Arati Hazarika, Amal Kataki and Gopal Krishna Hazarika sang songs and recited poems.