DIBRUGARH, March 27 – Officials of the Dibrugarh district administration have deliberately procrastinated on the establishment of a security installation near the city, raising eyebrows in knowledgeable circles.
One of the world’s best high terrain fighting outfits, the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) wants to set up a battalion near the city. The proposal was mooted a couple of years ago, but thanks to dilly-dallying by several quarters, the matter remained in cold storage since 2007. It was in November 2009 that the office of the ITBP Director General wrote a letter to the Deputy Commissioner here, seeking the latter’s opinion on which would be the best site for the proposed battalion, out of the two shortlisted sites: Ghooronia tea estate or Kabir tea estate.
Till today – more than three months since that letter from the ITBP headoffice – the Dibrugarh district administration is yet to respond, due to reasons best known to the officers manning the district administration here.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that the State Government had in 2007 accorded its permission to Kabir tea estate to dispose of a portion of its land to enable establishment of the ITBP post here. That permission too was suspended last month, confusing the district officials here. However, one gathers that the suspension of the permission has been contested by the owners of Kabir tea estate as untenable, saying that there has been no circumstance to do so.
The other site that was shortlisted for the proposed ITBP unit is Ghooronia tea estate. More than half of this estate’s land has already been acquired by the government for the Gas Cracker project, while more land of this estate would be required for gas cracker related pipeline networks, railway sidings and alignments, and also for national highway extension work. As such, the Ghooronia tea estate would not have sufficient land available for a para military battalion, feel people who know about land revenue matters. Any further land taken from Ghooronia for non-gas cracker use also carries the risk of triggering labour and public protests.
Against this, one learns that Kabir tea estate is in a better position to make available sufficient land to the ITBP, without sacrificing the interests of the tea labourers and tea production.
Wherever the ITBP post is finally located is a matter to be sorted out by the district administration here and the respective tea garden owners. But if this is done expeditiously, the ITBP facility will certainly provide business and employment avenues to hundreds of people. The delay in the establishment of the battalion is this way hindering economic activity too. The babus who are paid tax payers’ money, should keep this public interest in mind and hurry up their act, rather than watching the files gather cobwebs in their office rooms.