|Basic facilities lacking in border villages|
JORABAT, Sept 22 - Residents of 13 villages of the Dimoria area under the Dispur LAC along the Assam-Meghalaya border namely, Markang, Magursila, Bandargog, Dandarai, Pithgog, Pesamhoru, Baraksarang, Kalangpur, Kasangmola, Arlokong, Marlak, Panikanti and Khong Adok have expressed their desire to merge with Meghalaya politically. Even after 69 years of Independence, these villages have remained undeveloped, they alleged. The villagers have been used only as vote banks, added the Magursila Yubak Sangha.
The Sangha added that the tribal-dominated area has not benefited from any development schemes of the Assam Government. “How can we be part of Assam under such circumstances?” it asked.
These interior hilly villages of Dimoria lack basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, road connectivity, proper health care system, education facilities, etc. According to Birun Phangcho, president of the Magursila Yubak Sangha, these villages with a population of more than 10,000, have been deprived of development despite being part of the Dispur constituency. The Ampri river, which flows along the border, separates these villages from Meghalaya. The area on the other side of the river located in Meghalaya has concrete roads, electricity, drinking water, banks, educational institutions, etc.
The lack of any initiative from the Assam Government is responsible for the poor conditions in these 13 border villages. The secretary of the Magursila Yubak Sangha, Dilip Phangcho pointed out that the three existing roads namely, Tegheria-Magursila-Markang Road, Magursila-Pesamhoru Road and Markang Pithagog Road are in a dilapidated state. He added that the health scenario in the villages is very poor with the villagers mainly dependent on herbal medicines. A serious patient has to travel 20 km along a bad road to reach the District Civil Hospital at Sonapur. The education system also lies in a poor shape. A school called Ampri Janajatiyo Madhya Ingraji Bidyalaya, which was established in 1988 at Markang, has not yet been provincialised by the Assam Government.
The residents of the villages blamed former minister and sitting Dispur MLA Akon Bora for the lack of development. On the other hand, they praised the steps taken by the Meghalaya Government to develop the adjacent area. The mobile network in these remote villages has been facilitated by Meghalaya’s North East Telecom Circle.
The villagers threatened that they would join Meghalaya politically if Dispur does not redress their grievances and take positive steps for the development of their area.